Europol announced today the arrest of 178 individuals in connection with money mule operations used for laundering cybercrime profits and payment card fraud.
The crackdown was the second such coordinated European Money Mule Action (EMMA), supported by Europol's European Cybercrime Center (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), as well as Eurojust and the European Banking Federation. Law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities from 16 countries across Europe were involved, plus the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI. It also involved the support of 106 banks and private partners.
Before the arrests announced today, participating authorities identified 580 money mules and interviewed 380 suspects during the "action week" Nov. 14 to Nov. 18. They collectively represented illegal transfers of EUR 23 million ($24.4 million USD).
Koen Hermans, assistant to the National Member for the Netherlands, commented, in a release: "As money mules are an essential chain in every financial cybercrime criminal organisation, it is of the utmost importance to target these individuals as well. The critical success factor in this highly effective money mule action is the close cooperation between private, law enforcement and judicial actors, in order to deter offenders in Europe, and thereby reduce crime."
For more information, see Europol.