Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fifty People Accused of Credit Card Fraud Arrested - - in Russia - 04 Oct 2010

Russian authorities arrested fifty people suspected of being members of an identity theft and credit card counterfeiting gang, who stole almost $2 million from local and foreign banks.

The case was handled by "Department K" of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which specializes in the investigation of cybercrimes and privacy breaches.
HostExploit reports that an Ukrainian national arrested during one of the raids has already confessed to being the ringleader of the gang, who's other members are Russian, Armenian and Ukrainian.

The organized criminal group was forging identity papers and counterfeiting plastic cards, that were used to defraud financial institutions.

By Lucian Constantin

Over seventeen Russian credit organizations were targeted by the gang during the first half of this year and the fraudsters are also said to have operated in US and UK.

While executing the search warrants, police found a device for writing magnetic stripe data and over 100 counterfeit payment cards.

The group's members were arrested for offenses under Article 159 Part 2 and Part 4 st.187 of the Criminal Code, but the exact date of the arrests has not been specified.

Last week, the UK Metro Police dismantled a fraud ring of nineteen Eastern Europeans, who used the ZeuS trojan to steal millions from the accounts of British consumers.

The US authorities also charged a total of 96 suspects and arrested 39 for fraud-related offenses. Many of them are believed to have acted as money mules for the UK gang.

Five additional fraudsters, who are suspected of being key players in the whole scheme, have been arrested last week in Ukraine.

However, there is yet no officially confirmed link between these new Russian arrests and that international operation, which the FBI calls "Trident Breach."

It's also worth noting that Russian citizens are protected from extradition through the countr's constitution, which means that even if they commit crimes via the Internet in other countries, they will be tried at home.

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