Investigators from Italy and Albania have uncovered a scam that promised low-risk investments in cryptocurrency. An operation coordinated by Eurojust was conducted with 12 locations searched and digital assets seized.
Call Centre in the US Used to Contact Victims – Tirana, Albania
Law enforcement officers in Italy and Albania have managed to shut down a fraudulent investment scheme in crypto assets. Eurojust, the EU agency responsible for judicial cooperation in Europe, provided assistance for the investigation.
The criminal group behind the scam had assets amounting to 3 million euros (almost $3.2million) seized. Its total losses were calculated at 15 million euros (over $15.9 million). Eurojust issued a press release.
The perpetrators had a call centre in the Albanian capital of Tirana, using it to contact victims. They could communicate with them over the phone, email and internet, sometimes using VPNs and virtual phone numbers. People were encouraged to open accounts and transfer funds on a certain website.
The scammers gained victims’ trust by offering them fast returns for a small initial capital. Later, they were contacted by representatives from the platform asking for more money in order to recover their funds.
The operation took place between December 13 and 15, with the main suspects arrested on warrants. Eurojust did not release any details about the arrests. Police searched 13 locations in Albania, seizing more than 160 electronic devices, such as servers and video recorders.
The criminal case was opened in 2020. Thanks to Eurojust, the agency and national authorities were able to coordinate a joint operation against the fraud ring. A coordination centre was also set up for the task.
In a similar incident, Ukraine’s Cyberpolice exposed a crypto fraud scheme that was making €200 million annually from bogus investments in crypto. It had offices and call centres with thousands of employees in numerous countries across Europe, including Albania. All countries involved in the investigation supported it.
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