Romania and EU agencies smash cybercrime gang

Some security firms have linked the attacks to the Russian government. [Charis Tsevis/Flickr]

Romanian police have smashed, with the help of European law enforcement agencies, a computer fraud gang accused of stealing millions of euros from unsuspecting victims, officials said Thursday (17 November).

Twelve suspected gang members were arrested on Wednesday and 64 homes and offices raided, in an operation by the Romanian officers that was supported by European police agency Europol and judicial cooperation agency Eurojust, the agencies said in a statement.

Formed in early 2012, the gang stole more than €4.5 million from some 1,000 victims, the joint Europol-Eurojust statement said.

Gang members allegedly convinced victims to pay for fictitious online goods by transferring money into fake accounts.

“Bank accounts were opened with false IDs,” the statement said.

Gang members “are suspected to have opened approximately 230 bank accounts abroad and 120 bank accounts in Romania,” it added.

During the operation, Europol “gave on-the-spot assistance”, with a cybercrime specialist deployed with a mobile office “to support the investigators in real time,” the statement said.

The suspected gang members are expected to face charges relating to “economic crime, money laundering and cybercrimes”, it added.

Commission submits plan to fight terrorism, cybercrime

The Commission announced Tuesday (28 April) a European Agenda on Security for the period 2015-2020 defining how the EU executive can bring added value to support the member states in ensuring security.

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