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EU Agencies and Romania Crack a Gang of Cybercrime

Officials said that the Romanian police with help from the European law enforcement agencies have cracked a gang of computer fraud suspected for stealing millions of euros from innocent victims.

Prosecutors from Romanian Territorial Office Valcea of DIICOT (Directorate of Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism), acting within the JIT (Joint Investigation Team) created with support of the Eurojust, has performed an operation on 15th November related to an OCG (Organised Crime Group) specialized in forgery, money laundering and computer fraud. Europol also supported the operation at that very moment. 64 houses in total were searched, and then 64 suspects are brought for hearings to Public Prosecutors Office of Romania. 12 people were arrested.

Europol-Eurojust jointly issued a statement saying that the gang was formed in the early part of 2012 and have stolen over 4.5 Million Euros from around 1,000 victims. The victims are allegedly convinced by the gang members to pay some amount for the fictitious online goods by transfer of money to forged accounts.

As per the statement, bank accounts are opened with fake IDs. It also added that the gang members "are suspected to have opened approximately 230 bank accounts abroad and 120 bank accounts in Romania."

euractiv.com posted on November 17th, 2016, quoting the statement as saying that during operation, Europol "gave on-the-spot assistance" by deploying a specialist of cybercrime with mobile office "to support the investigators in real time".

Romanian Desk in Eurojust opened the case with the help as well as support of Poland, Germany, Hungary and Italy. Two meetings of coordination have taken place, and then there was signing of JIT agreement between Office of the Prosecutor General of Bamberg, Germany, and DIICOT of Romania, with financial and logistical support given to JIT by the Eurojust. Together along with these, Eurojust sent request for mutual legal assistance and facilitated it with countries that are not there in JIT.

European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) of Europol supported this operation from initial stages of investigation by cross-matching the information. Moreover, Europol on the operation day has also deployed a specialist of cybercrime equipped with mobile office for supporting investigators in the real time.

It added that the suspected members of the gang are supposed facing charges concerning to "economic crime, money laundering and cybercrimes."

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