3D Printer Confiscated in Organized Crime Raid
Staff posted on October 06, 2014 |
For all of its good 3DPrinting enables some bad actors too. Case in point: Interpol busts ATM fraud ...
3D printing, crime, ATM, fraud

Bulgarian and Spanish judicial and law enforcement authorities1, working in close cooperation with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in The Hague, have dismantled another significant Bulgarian organised crime network suspected of a variety of crimes including large scale ATM skimming, electronic payment fraud and forgery of documents.

The action day for Operation Imperium on 30 September 2014 resulted in 31 arrests and 40 house searches2. The coordinated action mainly took place in Malaga in Spain and in the three Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Burgas, and Silistra.

Eight criminal labs, including two very complex modern production sites for skimming equipment and counterfeit documents in Sofia and Malaga, were discovered and dismantled during the raids. More than 1000 devices, micro camera bars, card readers, magnetic strip readers and writers, computers, phones and flash drives, as well as plastic cards ready to be encoded, were seized. Moreover officers found 3D printing equipment to produce fake plastic card slot bezels ready to be installed on the ATMs and manipulated POS terminals. Police officers also confiscated dozens of forged payment cards with records of PIN numbers, ready to be used at other ATMs.

The operation was led by Bulgarian and Spanish authorities via command and coordination centres in Sofia and Madrid. Europol EC3 experts were present on the spot with mobile offices, allowing direct access to Europol's databases for the cross-checking, analysis and exchange of intelligence in real time. EC3 officers also provided tailor-made expertise.

All raids and arrests took place simultaneously and were coordinated with the support of the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT)3officers located in the Europol headquarters in The Hague.

The primary modus operandi of the criminals and their associates was to harvest financial data from ATMs or tampered POS terminals in different areas of Europe (e.g. Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Turkey), which they then used to create fake payment cards. The fake cards could then be used to withdraw large amounts of cash from ATMs outside the European Union (e.g. in Peru and the Philippines).


The Head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Troels Oerting, is congratulating the law enforcement colleagues in Bulgaria and Spain for their excellent work. He says:

"We've hit another international organised payment crime network, which sends a strong signal to cybercriminal groups active in this field. This is a great example of effective joint efforts between EU Member States and EC3 to protect customers and their electronic transactions across the European Union. It also shows that police as well as other law enforcement authorities in the EU are putting Europol's unique tools to very good use to make electronic payment transactions safer. At the same time this successful case proved a very good use of the J-CAT framework which helped in the final stages of investigation".

Source: Europol

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