The Spanish National Police, with aid from the Italian National Police, Europol and Eurojust, have busted an organized criminal network involved in online fraud, ML, drug trafficking and property crime. This criminal network is linked to the Italian Mafia.
In a collaborative operation, the authorities have arrested 106 individuals in Spain and Italy. They have also conducted 16 house searches and frozen 118 bank accounts. In the process, the authorities have seized 224 credit cards, SIM cards and point-of-sale terminals. They have also seized various electronic devices, as well as a marijuana plantation and related equipment.
The organized criminal network had computer experts (for facilitating cyber fraud), money muling recruiters and organizers, and ML specialists. These criminals defrauded hundreds of victims, most of them Italian nationals, through phishing attacks, SIM swapping and business email compromise. Operating from Spain, the criminals deceived their victims to have them transfer large amounts of money to criminal-owned bank accounts. Funds thus obtained, which could be up to €10 million ($11.73m) a year, were laundered through money mules and shell companies.