Europol Money laundering sting 4th December 2018
As part of the ongoing investigations and Ireland’s role in a worldwide money laundering sting, a media briefing will be held at the centre block Harcourt Square, Dublin 2 at 4pm today the 4th of December 2018. In attendance will be, D/Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan GNECB, D/Superintendent Gerard Walsh GNECB and Mr Keith Gross of the Banking Payments Federation of Ireland.
D/Chief Superintendent Lordan said earlier: "An Garda Síochána has played a significant role in this operation and we want to highlight the fact that young people and in particular students are targeted by these criminal networks. Parents need to have a conversation with their younger family members and discuss the risks associated with this type of criminal activity and the long term implications for them”
Mr Keith Gross of the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland said:” The EMMA initiative is about the financial sector, law enforcement agencies and other key stakeholders joining forces in tackling the illegal activity of money muling across borders.
The key message of the EMMA 4 awareness campaign " #Don't be a Mule" is not to sell your identity and allow your bank account to be used by criminals to move stolen money or proceeds of crime because in doing so you are enabling money laundering and engaging in illegal activity which can have severe legal consequences"
Click here for more information on money muling.
N.B. Please see below earlier press release from Europol
EUROPOL PRESS RELEASE
Over 1500 money mules identified in worldwide money laundering sting
- 168 arrested, 1504 money mules and 140 money mule organisers identified, as a result of the fourth European Money Mule Action ‘EMMA 4’, a global law enforcement action week tackling the issue of money muling.
- The action took place over the course of three months (September-November 2018).
- 30 States took part in EMMA 4, alongside Europol, Eurojust, the European Banking Federation, supported by more than 300 banks.
- The joint money muling campaign #DontBeAMule kicks off today to alert the public to this crime.
Working together with Europol, Eurojust and the European Banking Federation (EBF), police forces from over 20 States arrested 168 people (so far) as part of a coordinated money laundering crackdown, the European Money Mule Action (EMMA). This international swoop, the fourth of its kind, was intended to tackle the issue of ‘money mules’, who help criminals launder millions of euros worth of dirty money.
Held over the course of the past three months (September-November 2018), this year’s edition of EMMA saw the participation of law enforcement agencies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Moldova, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Across Europe and beyond, 1504 money mules were identified, leading to the arrest of 168, and 140 money mule organisers. 837 criminal investigations were opened, many of them are still ongoing. More than 300 banks, 20 bank associations and other financial institutions helped to report 26376 fraudulent money mule transactions, preventing a total loss of €36,1 million. The wider community of global and European banks provided support where needed during the three months of action and committed to raising awareness in their country. Once again, this highlights the importance of a quick and coordinated response by law enforcement and the banking sector.
Why do people help criminals launder money?
Money mules are individuals who, often unwittingly, have been recruited by criminal organisations as money laundering agents to hide the origin of ill-gotten money. Tricked by the promise of easy money, mules transfer stolen funds between accounts, often in different States, on behalf of others and are usually offered a share of the funds that pass through their own accounts.
Europol Public Information
Newcomers to a State, the unemployed, and people in economic distress often feature among the most susceptible to this crime. This year, cases involving young people selected by money mule recruiters are on the rise, with criminals increasingly targeting financially-distressed students to gain access to their bank accounts.
While mules are being recruited via numerous routes, criminals are more and more turning to social media to recruit new accomplices, through the advertisement of fake jobs or get-rich-quick posts.
Although this may sound like quick and easy money — all it takes is a click to transfer money from an account to another — permitting a criminal group to use one’s bank account can have severe legal consequences. Mules may face lengthy imprisonments and acquire a criminal record that could seriously affect the rest of their lives, such as never being able to secure a mortgage or open a bank account.
To raise awareness of this type of fraud, the money muling awareness campaign #DontBeAMule kicks off today across Europe. With awareness-raising material, available for download in 25 languages, the campaign will inform the public about how these criminals operate, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they become a victim.
For the next week, international partners from law enforcement and judicial authorities, together with financial institutions, will be supporting the campaign at national level.
Do you think you might be used as a mule? Act now before it is too late: stop transferring money and notify your bank and your national police immediately.
Follow the EMMA prevention campaign here: