Moldova arrests bank staff in connection with Zeus gang

Moldova arrests bank staff in connection with Zeus gang

Authorities in Moldova have arrested six bank employees accused of laundering money for the international criminal ring that used the Zeus Trojan to steal millions of dollars from online bank accounts.

The country's Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC) arrested the six, one of whom worked for the Bank of Moldova, last month for withdrawing money from fictitious bank accounts.

The CCECC says that in total it has 12 suspects that allegedly "created a virtual mesh" to intercept Western Union and Moneygram payments from fellow gang members and transfer them to Moldovan bank accounts.

A government ministry official is accused of providing the gang with copies of ID cards needed to open bank accounts which were cleaned out by couriers who then sent the money to organisers.

The CCECC estimates that around $200 million has been taken from US accounts with over $70 million reaching a financial institution in Moldova.

The authorities say they conducted 30 searches at detainees' houses, unearthing around $300,000, a gun and two luxury cars. If found guilty, those arrested face up to 10 years in jail.

Separately, two more Moldovans were arrested in the US state of Wisconsin accused of acting as money mules for the Zeus gang. This followed a series of raids connected with the scam in the US, UK and Ukraine.

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