European police have dismantled an international criminal network of payment card fraudsters, arresting 31 suspects accused of stealing EUR500,000 from approximately 3000 citizens.
The co-ordinated busts in Spain, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic uncovered a trove of equipment used to forge payment cards, payment card data readers-recorders, skimmers, micro cameras, devices to manipulate ATMs, as well as cash and numerous counterfeit cards.
Between 2014 and 2017, the criminal network installed skimming devices on an average of 400 ATMs every year, to copy and clone the data contained on the bank cards. The forged cards were then used to make illegal transactions in 200 ATMs outside the European Union, mainly in the USA, the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Peru, the Philippines and Costa Rica.
Francisco Jiménez-Villarejo, National Member for Spain at Eurojust, says: "An entire criminal network was taken down and, as a result, is no longer able to defraud innocent victims, thanks to the joint efforts of the Spanish and Bulgarian prosecuting authorities, and the valuable support provided by their National Desks at Eurojust."