'Money mules' arrested in Europe sting

2016-11-22 22:30
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - European and US law officials arrested at least 178 people in an international swoop against so-called "money mules" who helped launder millions of dollars, EU agencies announced on Tuesday.

Across Europe, some 580 suspected "money mules" - people recruited to act as laundering agents for criminal gangs -- were identified during last week's operation, judicial co-operation agency Eurojust and Europol said.

"After receiving the illegally-obtained funds into their accounts, the individuals acting as money mules are asked to wire the money into a different account," said a joint statement, which also included the European Banking Federation.

"These schemes are often disguised as legitimate job opportunities and the mules may keep some of the money for themselves as a commission," it said, adding that an estimated 23 million euros was laundered globally.

The mules played a crucial role in money laundering as criminal networks gain access to stolen goods or funds without revealing their identity.

If caught, they face jail time, a fine, community service or having to refund the proceeds to victims, said the agencies, who assisted 14 EU countries as well as Ukraine and Moldova, with the help of the FBI and the US Secret Service, the statement said.

Police questioned 380 suspects in the operation that particularly targeted online payments and credit card fraud, with the agencies saying 95% of all the money mule transactions were linked to cybercrime.

The swoop was supported by 106 banks and private organisations and backed by Europol's EC3 cybercrime centre, the statement said.

"It is important to understand that money laundering may on the surface seem to be a small crime, but it is orchestrated by organised crime groups," Eurojust chief Michele Coninsx said.


Read more on:    europol  |  europe

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.