FBI, Romanians Unite to Bust Credit Card Skimming Network
US and Romanian prosecutors have together dismantled an organised crime network specializing in skimming credit cards, which had operated since 2012 in Romania, Mexico, the US and many other countries, the Romanian prosecutors said on Thursday.
Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, DIICOT, was helped during the operation by the FBI Office in Bucharest and by Mexican police, the prosecutors added.
DIICOT prosecutors on Thursday searched 14 buildings in Romania belonging to members of the organized crime group, which was formed by Romanian and Mexican citizens.
Five suspects were brought in for hearings and the authorities confiscated luxury cars, guns, dozens of thousands of US dollars, euros and pounds, as well as credit cards and skimming devices.
The criminal activity was related to skimming systems placed on different ATMs, from locations ranging from the Mexican coast to Indonesia, Paraguay and India. The places chosen for these illegal operations were those frequented by foreign tourists.
The skimmers then copied the computer data contained in the credit cards inserted in the ATMs and used them to fraudulently to withdraw money, DIICOT said.
Prosecutors said the leader of the group coordinated the entire criminal operation from Mexico, where via proxies he apparently owned several companies, some of which specialized in acquiring and installing ATMs on Mexican territory and which provided maintenance services for the machines.
"Members of the network recruited people from Romania with knowledge in the field of electronics or tinsmith to build the electronic devices, computer systems and ATM components necessary for copying bank card data," the press release issued by the Romanian...