POLICE have raided homes in Malaga in a crackdown on a gang specialising in electronic fraud.

A total of 31 people were arrested in the raids, which also took place in Sofia, Burgas and Silistra in Bulgaria.

The gang are said to have specialized in ATM ‘skimming’ and electronic fraud, according to Europol.

Officers dismantled eight criminal laboratories and seized more than 1,000 devices including micro cameras, card readers, magnetic strip readers and writers, computers, phones and flash drives as well as plastic cards ready to be encoded.

The gang was also using 3D printing equipment to produce fake plastic card slots ready to be installed on ATMs.

They used stolen data ‘skimmed’ from ATMs around Europe, including in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Turkey.

Using this data, they created fake cards which they used to withdraw vast quantities of cash from victims’ accounts in countries like Peru and the Philippines, Europol said.

Led by Spanish and Bulgarian police, the operation was coordinated by Europol’s Cybercrime Centre in the Hague.

Last week saw more than 1,000 suspects arrested across Europe in an unprecedented crackdown on organised crime, involving a record 20,000 police officers.

Around 300 were arrested in Spain under Europol’s Operation Archimedes, officially the largest ever coordinated assault on organised crime in Europe.

“The scale of the operation is unprecedented,” said Europol boss Rob Wainwright, about the Europe-wide crackdown. “We designed an operation specifically to hit criminal infrastructure.”

Imogen Calderwood

About Imogen Calderwood

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