INTERPOL Targets Global Fraud and Money Laundering Rings Resulting in 1,000 Arrests

INTERPOL Targets Global Fraud and Money Laundering Rings Resulting in 1,000 Arrests

December 2, 2021

While fraud continues to flourish and local law enforcement struggles to help merchants, INTERPOL had a bit of good news in its battle against organized fraud rings and financial crime. The international law enforcement agency announced the results of a coordinated operation among more than 20 countries that produced more than 1,000 arrests and seized nearly $27 million in illicit funds.

The operation targeted money laundering and online fraud including various romance scams, business email compromises and investment schemes. The operation—named HAECHI-II—also piloted a new global stop-payment mechanism called the Anti-Money Laundering Rapid Response Protocol.

“The results of Operation HAECHI-II show that the surge in online financial crime generated by the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of waning,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. “It also underlines the essential and unique role played by INTERPOL in assisting member countries combat a crime which is borderless by nature. Only through this level of global cooperation and coordination can national law enforcement effectively tackle what is a parallel cybercrime pandemic.”

One example from Columbia involved police uncovering a ring using a malware-laden mobile application using the name and branding of the Netflix show “Squid Game.” Masquerading as a product affiliated with the popular television series, the app was in fact a Trojan horse virus that, once downloaded, was able to hack the user’s billing information and subscribe to paid “premium” services without the user’s explicit approval. 

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