Officials of 16 Countries Teamed Up for a Major Transnational Operation against Money Laundering
On October 15, Europol announced its successful operation against a renowned criminal group called QQAAZZ. The network was involved in money laundering that also included crypto mining. The operation targeted 16 countries and 20 individuals have been arrested. The police suspect them to be in connected to QQAAZZ network.
This network has been in the money laundering business for a while now and the police say that it had laundered millions for prolific cybercriminals. The arrests targeted a group of ‘money mules’ that hackers needed to complete their jobs.
According to the US federal indictment, QQAAZZ also introduced a sophisticated company. The managers of this company managed to spread their bank account networks and shell companies in different states, whereas money mules transferred millions of dollars in stolen funds back to the hackers. QQAAZZ acquired 50 per cent of all the transfers.
Twenty people were arrested as part of an investigation into QQAAZZ https://t.co/QU6wKmF7b1
— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) October 16, 2020
Hackers in the US and Europe do not want to be traced after completing their job, so money mules are essential for cybercriminals. Previously, hackers used foreign students and unwitting accomplices over the internet as money mules.
The majority of the victims of money laundering were small businesses or religious organisations that were easier targets than large corporations with tough cybersecurity measures.
The victims also included synagogue, a Michigan-based auto-parts manufacturer, and a Miami-based architecture firm, as per the US Department of Justice reports.
Read more about money mules:Jobs in the frame for money laundering
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