Eleven arrests as German, Israeli and Georgian authorities end massive online investment scam


The European law enforcement agency Eurojust made 11 arrests as it dismantled a criminal network operating at least 18 e-commerce platforms, defrauding investors of at least tens of millions of euros, a she said in a statement on October 27.

The German, Georgian and Israeli authorities, with the help of Eurojust, targeted a group of Georgian and Israeli fraudsters who had created several limited companies operating these platforms.

They claimed to generate high profits on investments in financial securities, stocks, commodity assets, currencies, and cryptocurrencies.

Eurojust said the seizures in Georgia and Israel last week involved real estate, luxury vehicles, communications equipment and cash in Georgia and Israel, for an amount still unknown.

Investigations into the fraud scheme began in 2015, after complaints from citizens, including German victims, who had lost all of their investments through at least 18 different e-commerce platforms.

Investors, who had responded to professional-looking online ads, were approached by call center workers, who spoke the language of their customers.

To this end, they used fake names and fake or hidden phone numbers and provided false information about the location of investment companies, trying to gain the trust of investors.

The authors predicted huge gains on investments, which encouraged victims to invest and subsequently lose substantial sums of money.

Profits were laundered through foreign bank accounts and later transferred to their own account numbers, among others in Georgia. Global trading took place in euros, US dollars and pounds sterling.

The operation was initiated by the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPPO) in Bamberg, Germany, the Bavarian Central Office for the Prosecution of Cybercrime, with the support of the Bavarian State Police.

During the operation, more than 100 law enforcement agents were deployed to Georgia, including nearly 20 German agents and a German prosecutor.

Eurojust assisted the German, Georgian and Israeli authorities in the execution of requests for mutual legal assistance and coordinated cross-border legal assistance.

In Georgia, the operation was carried out by the National Prosecutor’s Office, with coordination through the Georgian Liaison Prosecutor at Eurojust, who took office last year.

In Israel, support was provided by the Department of International Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office of the Ministry of Justice, the Head of the Fraud Unit – Central District and the Police International Legal Assistance Unit. Israeli.

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