Illegal gambling is among the charges in Interpol’s massive, global bust


Published on: December 20, 2023 at 03:38 pm.

Last updated on: 20 December 2023 at 03:38 h.

In what it hopes will be a major blow to cybercriminals around the world, Interpol has ended a joint international operation dubbed… Operation Haichi IV. This led to the arrest of thousands of suspected criminals who were involved in a range of illegal activities, including illegal gambling.

An Interpol shield on one of its offices
An Interpol shield on one of its offices. A large-scale joint law enforcement operation targeting illegal gambling and other crimes led to the arrests of more than 3,500 people. (Image: Shutterstock)

Interpol announced in a press release Yesterday, 3,500 people were arrested and more than $300 million in cash and digital assets were seized. The six-month operation was funded by South Korea and involved law enforcement agencies from 34 countries.

operation Haichi IV, Which began last July, and specifically targeted certain types of online scams. He was primarily looking at romance scams, online sextortion, money laundering associated with illegal online gambling, investment fraud, voice phishing, e-commerce fraud, and business email fraud (BEC).

The majority of cases investigated in Operation HAECHI IV relate to BEC fraud, e-commerce fraud, and investment fraud, accounting for more than 75% of the total cases. These scams typically involve tricking victims into revealing sensitive financial information or transferring money to fraudulent accounts.

INTERPOL Purple Notices

INTERPOL, in particular, praised the cooperative efforts of the Philippines and South Korea. Their efforts resulted in the arrest of a criminal wanted on illegal online gambling charges in Manila. The arrest was the culmination of a two-year investigation by the Korean National Police Agency, although Interpol did not name the person.

It also issued two “purple notices” in conjunction with the arrests, highlighting emerging trends and methods used by cybercriminals. These are alerts designed to inform law enforcement departments globally of specific threats and how they operate.

One purple notice detailed a South Korean scam where investors were lured into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with claims of lucrative returns. This scam, known as “rug pulling,” involved scammers disappearing with funds once investors purchased NFTs. The only thing the victims had left behind were worthless digital assets.

Another purple bulletin warned of the increasing use of artificial intelligence and deepfake technology. Criminals use these techniques to hide their identities and impersonate individuals known to victims. They also create convincing fake content, making it more difficult for people to detect fraudulent activity.

Stop the flow of money

To disrupt the flow of illicit funds, Operation Haichi IV The INTERPOL Global Rapid Intervention for Payments (I-GRIP) mechanism was used. This enables rapid and coordinated action at a global level to freeze suspicious bank accounts and seize assets linked to criminal activity.

As a result of these measures, the operation suspended 82,112 suspicious bank accounts. It also confiscated more than $199 million in hard currencies and $101 million in virtual assets.

Interpol added that Argentina, Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Ghana, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland. . South Korea, Romania, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam participated in the operation.

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