- Scammers peddling bogus cryptocurrencies in Europe, Australia, and Canada were detained by international authorities, Europol revealed.
- The criminal network was made up of numerous organisations that ran at least four call centres in Serbia, Cyprus, and Bulgaria.
Police in Europe detained 15 alleged con artists and shut down a multi-nation network of contact centres peddling phoney cryptocurrency, which they claim took hundreds of millions of euros from victims.
Bulgarian, Cypriot, German, and Serbian law enforcement discovered that suspects working out of these contact centres conned victims into making substantial investments in fraudulent cryptocurrency operations, often known as “Pig Butchering” cryptocurrency scams.
The network deceived countless victims for tens of millions of euros in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, and Canada, according to a press statement from Eurojust on Thursday.
Over 250 workplaces in Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Germany were found after searching four call centres and 18 locations.Cyprus is said to have served as the base for the criminals’ efforts to hide their unlawful activities.
According to Europol, which joined the investigation in June 2022 at the request of German security agencies, the scammers conned their targets into investing substantial sums of money in phoney cryptocurrency ventures.
Over 150 computers, other electronic devices, data backups, three automobiles, two luxurious residences, one million US dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies, and 50,000 EUR in cash were all seized as a result of the interviews with more than 250 people.
The authorities have long been extremely concerned about Pig butchering schemes. The US Department of Justice recently confiscated seven websites in November of last year that were being used to carry out the same butchering schemes.
The term of the scam comes from the way con artists entice victims with promise of wealth before cutting them off and stealing all of their money.
According to Europol’s analysis, the proportion of unreported cases is likely to be significantly greater. This indicates that the unlawful profits made by the criminal organisations, who operate at least four call centres in Eastern Europe, could be in the hundreds of millions of euros.