Sri Lanka used in global credit card fraud

Sri Lanka was among the countries used by members of a global credit card fraud network to carry out illegal transactions, the European police (Europol) said in a statement.

Europol said that 44 members of the global credit card fraud network were arrested yesterday (Thursday) in a joint operation coordinated by the Romanian Cybercrime Unit in Romania, in close cooperation with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).

The international operation, ‘Pandora-Storm’, succeeded with the apprehension of the organised crime group members involved in sophisticated manipulations of POS (point of sale) terminals in big shopping centres across Europe and also on-line fraud.

During the operation 2 illegal workshops for producing devices and software to manipulate POS terminals were dismantled. Illegal electronic equipment, financial data, cloned cards, and cash were seized during 82 house searches in Romania and United Kingdom. More than 400 police officers were involved in this international operation.

The organised crime group has affected approximately 36.000 bank/credit card holders in 16 European countries. The group’s modus operandi involved sophisticated methods of stealing people’s credit and debit card numbers and PIN codes by implanting card reading devices and malicious software on POS terminals.

The criminals used counterfeit payment cards with stolen data for further illegal transactions mainly in Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and USA. The members of the group are also responsible for setting up a sophisticated criminal network for on-line fraud.