They defrauded companies online by impersonating business emails and laundered the extorted cash. The Gdańsk prosecutor’s office reported that the victims lost EUR 2.5 million, US dollars 1.7 million and PLN 116,000. A total of 12 people were detained in this case in Poland and Scotland.
– The District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk is supervising the investigation into a number of Internet frauds, commonly referred to as BEC – Business E-mail Compromise crimes. At the prosecutor’s request, at the end of September this year, officers of the Central Bureau for Combating Cybercrime, Gdańsk Department, with the support of officers from other police units, detained 11 people in Poland – said the press spokeswoman of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk, Grażyna Wawryniuk.
At the same time, in Great Britain, Scottish police officers detained another person on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the court at the request of the prosecutor. We are waiting for the completion of the procedure related to the surrender of the suspect to the Polish law enforcement authorities.
– The criminal practice involved impersonating contractors of companies based all over the world in e-mail correspondence. The manipulated e-mail correspondence addressed to employees of these companies indicated new bank accounts for payment for the ordered goods or services – explains prosecutor Wawryniuk.
Investigators revealed that the same criminal group was also involved in committing so-called fuel fraud, which involves impersonating companies offering petrochemical products, offering to sell such products and concluding contracts for their delivery, for which remuneration is collected despite the lack of intention to fulfill such obligations. contracts.
“Poles” with bank accounts
The operation involved the use of controlled bank accounts, which were opened in Poland using so-called “columns”. The proceeds of crime were then transferred to subsequent bank accounts or paid in cash.
The people brought to the prosecutor’s office were involved in opening bank accounts that were then used for internet fraud and laundering money derived from these frauds, as well as fictitious economic activities used in money laundering.
– They were also looking for people who agreed to open such accounts. They also took an active part in money laundering by making subsequent transfers of funds from crimes and withdrawing money in cash and transferring it to higher-ranking members of the criminal group. They used false documentation they created, illustrating economic ventures that did not actually take place – adds prosecutor Wawryniuk.
Three of the detained were also involved in extorting telecommunications services and telephone equipment by concluding telecommunications contracts without the intention of fulfilling them.
Six arrested, the rest placed under surveillance
Eleven people detained in Poland were brought to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk. A person who was serving a prison sentence for another crime was also brought in. The group operated from January 2020 to October 2021. The suspected crimes are punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The calculated total value of losses is: EUR 2.5 million, PLN 116 thousand. PLN, 1.7 million USD and 47 thousand CAD. Six suspects have been temporarily arrested, while the rest are under police supervision, have paid bail and are not allowed to leave Poland.
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