Bulgarian Authorities Disrupt Unprecedented Cybercrime Group
Bulgaria’s directorate for combatting organized crime and the specialised prosecutor’s office disrupted a cybercrime group that siphoned off accounts through internet fraud, reports BNT.
Fraudsters offered trading in financial instruments through two call centres in Sofia. The generated profits are over 700,000 BGN. Charges were pressed against three people.
According to the prosecution, the group was led by an Israeli citizen in complicity with a 28-year-old Bulgarian and a Serb. So far, 17 victims of the financial scheme have been identified, probably their number will grow.
The victims weretargetted by two call centres in Sofia, which used attractive internet advertisements. They were promised huge profits in return of small investments.
Ivan Geshev, Deputy Chief Prosecutor: Purchases of oil, gold and whatnot. I have personally received such calls. - What were they offering you, shares or gold? Shares.
Yavor Kolev, Chief of Cybercrime Department, CDCOC: Brokers mislead the victims, leaving them with the impression that they are in the UK as a serious investment company and their investments are absolutely protected.
There was no real trading on the stock exchange and the outcome was always the same.
Yavor Kolev, Chief of Cybercrime Department CDCOC: At the moment when they give up participating in this scheme and want to withdraw the profits, information appeared in their account that they lost everything and the connection with them is terminated.
Vania Hristeva, supervising prosecutor: We are talking about amounts of over 300,000 euros, over $ 80,000 and over 60,000 BGN. There are individuals with damages of over € 100,000.
The victims' money was transferred to Ukraine, and from there they were redistributed to accounts around the world to cover the traces. For this purpose, seven platforms were created on the Internet with hosting in Estonia. The CDCOC stated that the sites were not authorized by the Financial Supervision Commission in Bulgaria, as well as by the regulatory bodies in Europe. They used a certificate from a private New Zealand company.
Thirteen brokers were detained during the operation. They used false identities. The agents were trained by an Israeli citizen, who was considered by the Prosecutor's Office as the leader of the group. Those employeees who had doubts about the company's activities were dismissed and replaced by new ones.
Ivan Geshev, Deputy Chief Prosecutor: Such a scheme is unprecedented in Europe and there is no such advanced investigation into such a scheme that we describe to you.
The prosecutor's office said employees of the company were not accused because there was no evidence that they knew of the fraud. The investigators found that the group had plans to expand their operations in Serbia and Macedonia.
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