The international police agency (Interpol) has made an intercept of $83 million of cybercrime funds. The money was taken from the accounts of victims in various financial cybercrime.
Over 40 law enforcers from various agencies in the Asia Pacific participated in Operation HAECHI-I operation which lasted over 6 months.
From September 2020 to March 2021, law enforcers focused on fighting five different types of online financial crimes: investment fraud, online sextortion, romance scams, money laundering in illegal online gambling, and voice phishing.
The stolen funds were blocked by Interpol after multiple joint operations and intelligence gathering on the attackers.
During Operation HAECHI-I, over 1,400 cybercrime investigations were launched in the Asia Pacific region, with 892 of these cases have been solved. The remaining are still being investigated.
Over 1,600 bank accounts were frozen and 585 arrests were made by law enforcers.
Online fraudsters often use the borderless nature of the Internet to attack victims and launder money, Interpol said:
“Online fraudsters often attempt to exploit the borderless nature of the Internet by targeting victims in other countries or transferring their illicit funds abroad,” said Ilana de Wild, Interpol’s Director of Organized and Emerging Crime.
De Wild added that operation HAECHI-I shows that financial crime is globally interconnected and can only be effectively combated by international cooperation:
“The results of Operation HAECHI-I demonstrate that online financial crime is fundamentally global and that only through close international cooperation can we effectively combat these criminals.”
In 2016, Interpol also warned about the dangers of online financial scams, namely fake dating and trading apps.
In January 2021, Interpol warned about scammers targeting dating app users.
In similar news, three members of a notorious cybercrime group with a massive victim count were arrested in November as part of Operation Falcon, another investigation by Interpol.