Police bust group cybercriminals, seize EUR 420,000 in cash and crypto currencies

  • 2020-07-20
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The State Police officials have busted an organized group of cybercriminals, seizing about EUR 420,000 in different currencies in cash and in crypto currencies, LETA learned from the State Police.

The cyber crimes were committed abroad, but in Latvia money laundering on a large scale took place in the time period between early 2015 until early 2020. Three persons have been detained for the crimes.

On February 19, the Economic Crime Control Department (ENAP) of the State Police launched a criminal procedure. The crime carried a sentence of 3-12 years in jail, with or without confiscation of property.

The police reported that a large amount of information has been obtained about an organized group that conducted fraudulent activities online, including in such platforms as Ebay, PayPal, Booking and others. The group purchase personal data on DarkNet, including access data for profiles on different platforms, e-mail passwords and other data to obtain access to electronic payment data.

The obtained money was laundered in Latvia by purchase of movable and immovable property, paying for every day needs - fuel, food, as well as investing in crypto currencies and gold.

The victims of the crimes are mostly foreign citizens - more than 1,000 people.

Three persons have been detained - two Latvian citizens and one non-citizen. All of them are suspects in the case. One of the men  has been arrested.

During investigation, more than 12 searches were conducted, seizing about EUR 280,000 and USD 37,000 in cash and more than EUR 110,000 in crypto currencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Tether.

Also, the police has arrested real estate properties and transport vehicles of the suspects - 11 real estate properties with the aggregate market value of EUR 315,000, and three cars with the aggregate market value of EUR 30,000. Investigation is still ongoing.