Cybercriminals seized $130 million from Interpol

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Cybercriminals seized $130 million from Interpol
Cybercriminals seized $130 million from Interpol

A recent announcement by Interpol has revealed that the agency has just seized $130 million in money and virtual assets linked to various cybercrimes and money laundering operations that were committed by cybercriminals. Between June 28 and November 23, 2022, INTERPOL conducted a series of operations known as “HAECHI III”. During this time, almost a thousand suspects were arrested as a result of this operation.

During the operation, Interpol released an official statement that revealed that 975 people were arrested and more than 1,600 cases were resolved by investigators in the course of the operation. The company has also blocked over 2,800 bank accounts as well as virtual asset accounts linked to illicit proceeds of online financial crimes that were linked to the proceeds of the crimes.

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Among the types of cybercrime, we have romance scams, voice phishing, sextortion, investment fraud, and money laundering that are associated with illegal online gambling, among others. In addition to that, Interpol also generated 95 notices and diffusions, along with identifying sixteen new crime trends which will give law enforcement around the world the ability to take action against cybercriminals in a more targeted manner. As a result of the new trends, malicious actors have been constantly evolving a variety of romance scams and investment frauds in order to keep an element of novelty in the scams they present.

INTERPOL also observed that scammers are increasingly using encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp for exchanging information with their victims in order to obtain their financial information.

Operation HAECHI III has two major highlights that are worth mentioning:

  • Earlier this year, two Koreans living in Greece and Italy were arrested for embezzling more than $29,000,000 from 2,000 Korean victims in Korea.
  • A group of criminals from an India-based crime group who have been arrested for impersonating INTERPOL officers in order to call victims and trick them into sending them $159,000 in cryptocurrency has been arrested.

As a result of INTERPOL’s announcement, we can also state that one of the important benefits of the new ARRP mechanism is its effectiveness in combating money laundering. In the wake of the ARRP, an Irish company that was a victim of the fraud received $1,250,000 million back. This tool has been successful in assisting the recovery of $120,000,000 in cybercrime proceeds in the past year since the pilot testing phase of ARRP began in January 2022.

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