01 March 2016 :: Press releases :: News & Events

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Successful results of a joint investigation in the field of money laundering

Bucharest, March 1st, 2016 - During 22-26 February 2016 an operational meeting was held in Chisinau/Republic of Moldova with the participation of Romanian and Moldovan representatives and SELEC Liaison Officers, targeting combating the criminal activity of money laundering performed by a criminal group consisting of Romanian and Moldovan citizens.

The Romanian competent authorities performed investigations with regard to the activities of this criminal group that was created with the purpose to obtain illegal funds by using cybercrime, namely comitting cyber-attacks to the Internet banking applications owned by clients of various banks from Europe, United States and Australia. Using a malware, credentials of the online banking accounts were obtained, that were further used for making unauthorized bank transfers.

For laundering the money, the criminal group used the “money mule” scheme which aims concealing the final beneficiary of the money by using different EU citizens recruited with the purpose to act as intermediary, namely to receive and re- transmit amounts of money obtained illegally.

During 2014-2016, SELEC supported a number of operational meetings between representatives of Romanian and Moldovan authorities in order to share information regarding the criminal activities performed by the suspects, and to further establish a common action plan.

With the participation of SELEC Liaison Officers and by using the SELEC channel for ensuring a smooth cooperation in this process, the authorities from Romania and Republic of Moldova identified the members of the criminal group and also the intermediary persons that were accomplices to these crimes; the total financial loss being evaluated at 1.850.000 Euro.

SELEC’s operational activities are conducted within the framework of eight Task Forces, one of them being the „Financial and Computer Crime Task Force” established in 2001, thus having almost 15 years of experience in exchanging information, dealing with requests of assistance, conducting joint investigations and regional operations with regard to credit card frauds, cybercrime, money laundering, intellectual property and counterfeit money crimes