'European Money Mule Action': DIICOT, European structures find illegal transactions of 2.4 mln euros

 •  English

DIICOT prosecutors have found within the international operation "European Money Mule Action" (EMMA), 134 "money mules " - Romanian, Bulgarian and Moldovan citizens - and 198 fraudulent transactions with a value of approximately 2.42 million euros.

According to a release issued on Tuesday for AGERPRES, from February 22 to 26, 2016, DIICOT prosecutors together with the legal authorities in Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, UK, Spain and Portugal, with additional support from Moldova and other countries, participated in the first European-wide operation aimed at combating money laundering activities through middlemen ("money mules").

This action involved 17 home searches, 85 people were heard, with preventive measures having been ordered against some of these, and 205 victims were identified in Europe, Australia and USA.

The operation was backed by Eurojust, Europol and the European Banking Federation. The activity was held within the project EMPACT-OAP — "Payment card fraud," where Romania holds the driver position.

Prior to the operation, Eurojust and Europol held three operational and coordination meetings attended by representatives of prosecution and specialized police structures from the participating countries. These operative meetings were aimed at combating criminal activities of "money mule" type, which consist in the voluntary or involuntary involvement of European citizens in activities of laundering the money come from cyber crime.

The "European Money Mule Action" (EMMA) is a pilot operational project, created to combat online fraud, and electronic payment fraud.

From 2014 to 2016, with support from the SELEC Centre, DIICOT prosecutors and judicial police officers with the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime attended several operative meetings with representatives of the authorities in Moldova to document the criminal activity of some suspects operating on the territory of the neighboring country and establish a common action manner.

The phrase "money mule" refers to people recruited by organized crime groups to receive and give subsequently sums of money obtained illegally, with these transactions being made from the bank accounts of some people from various European countries, the final aim being hiding the end-beneficiary of those sums of money.

The recruited people may participate voluntarily in the illegal activity, but there are situations when some of the participants are not aware that their actions favour a wide spectrum of criminal activities. AGERPRES (RO — author: Daniel Alexandru Florea, editor: Andreea Rotaru; EN — author: Bogdan Gabaroi; editor: Razvan-Adrian Pandea)

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