Europol and law enforcement authorities join forces to uncover money mules

Thursday 3 December 2020 11:41 CET | News

Europol together with law enforcement authorities from 26 countries have announced the results of the European Money Mule Action ‘EMMA 6’.

EMMA 6, a worldwide operation against money mule schemes, was carried out between September and November 2020 with the support of the European Banking Federation (EBF), FinTech FinCrime Exchange, INTERPOL, and Western Union. As a result, 4 031 money mules were identified alongside 227 money mule recruiters, and 422 individuals were arrested worldwide.

During the span of the operation, 1 529 criminal investigations were initiated. Furthermore, 4 942 fraudulent money mule transactions were identified, preventing a total loss estimated at EUR 33.5 million, with the support of the private sector including more than 500 banks and financial institutions.

Money mules are individuals who have been recruited by criminal organisations as money laundering agents to hide the origin of ill-gotten money.

While mules are recruited via numerous routes such as direct contact or through email, criminals are more and more turning to social media to recruit new accomplices, through the advertisement of fake jobs offers, online pop-up ads and instant messaging applications. Although some COVID-19 related cases have been reported, payment process compromise and romance scams continue to be the most recurrent schemes. The use of cryptocurrencies by money mules is also on the rise.

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Keywords: AML, money mules, Europol, fraud prevention, financial crime, money laundering
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime