European law enforcement agencies have dismantled a crypto fraud network across Serbia, Germany, Cyprus and Bulgaria. The cross-border operation allegedly used call centers to defraud international victims out of tens of millions of euros.
The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation and Europol arrested 14 people in Serbia and one in Germany after the online scam investigation launched in 2021.
The asset seizures include 150 computers, three cars, two luxury apartments, $1 million in cryptocurrencies and 50,000 euros in cash, according to the announcement.
Victims were reportedly based in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia and Canada. While the exact number was not disclosed, the law enforcement authorities said that the number identified is “almost certainly only the tip of the iceberg.” During investigations, they found “high volumes of financial transactions.”
The organized crime group “operated the call centers from Serbia and used a technological infrastructure in Bulgaria to run the scheme,” the announcement said, adding that “allegedly, Cyprus was the base for laundering the illegal proceedings.”
There is no connection between this case and the raid of crypto lender Nexo, according to Bulgarian news outlet Free Europe, which cited a spokesperson for the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office. Nexo’s offices were raided by police on Thursday as Bulgarian prosecutors began investigating alleged criminal financial conduct, including money laundering and tax violation. Nexo’s co-founder and managing partner, Antoni Trenchev, called the allegations “absurd.”
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