Europol: 18k money mules caught laundering money from online fraud

Europol has announced the arrest of 1,803 money mules out of 18,351 identified following an international money-laundering crackdown operation codenamed “EMMA 7.”

As its name suggests, this was the seventh EMMA (European Money Mule Action) operation, with the first taking place in 2016.

The operation relied on a large-scale collaboration of law enforcement agencies in 27 countries between September 15 and November 30, 2021.

The countries involved in this worldwide crackdown on money laundering are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.

During these 2.5 months, 2,503 individual investigations led to collecting evidence and intelligence relevant to illicit online profiting and their sources.

In total, the operation prevented estimated losses of €67.5 million ($76.5 million) by stopping or reverting 7,000 fraudulent transactions across 400 financial institutes.

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