Police arrest 9 suspects in Belgian phishing investigation
The Dutch police have arrested nine suspects in various parts of our country. They are suspected of being part of a criminal organization that has made millions of euros through phishing. The extradition procedure to Belgium has been initiated.
The police reported this in a press release on Tuesday evening.
Suspects stole millions of euros from victims via phishing
At the request of the Belgian police and the East Flanders Public Prosecutor’s Office, police units from the Amsterdam, Central Netherlands, West Brabant, Rotterdam, East Netherlands and The Hague regions searched 24 homes. A firearm, expensive designer clothing, luxury watches and tens of thousands of euros in cash were seized.
The suspects are eight men between the ages of 25 and 36 from Amsterdam, Almere, Rotterdam and Spijkenisse. A 25-year-old woman from Deventer was also arrested. They are suspected of phishing, internet scams and money laundering.
The suspects approached their victims via email, text message or WhatsApp. The message in question included a URL that redirected them to a fake bank page. There, the victims had to enter their login details. The perpetrators used this information to gain access to their victim’s bank accounts. In this way, the suspects are estimated to have managed to loot millions of euros.
‘Combating cross-border crime’
The Belgian public prosecutor of East Flanders submitted an investigation order to the Public Prosecution Service in Amsterdam. They were asked to arrest the suspects and search their homes for evidence. On Tuesday morning, June 21, several police units throughout the country raided the homes.
The nine suspects are in pre-trial detention. The Belgian public prosecutor has requested their extradition. The extradition procedure is now in full swing. It may not stop with these nine suspects: the police do not rule out multiple arrests.
According to the police, this case proves that crime knows no boundaries and that enforcement agencies will not let that stop them. “The study is a good example of the collaboration between the Dutch and Belgian police to combat cross-border crime. In this case, the Aalter police zone, the Federal Judicial Police, the East Flanders Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Dutch Police, Amsterdam Public Prosecution Service and Europol worked together. It is a signal to criminals that investigation does not stop at a national border,” the police said.
Several Dutch people suspected of phishing in Belgium
It is the second time in a short time that the Dutch police arrested a suspect of phishing in our country at the request of the Belgian public prosecutor. Last week, the police arrested a 22-year-old man from IJmuiden. He is said to have stolen tens of thousands of euros from dozens of victims from our southern neighbours.
When the man’s home was searched, the police seized several data carriers, luxury items and an undisclosed amount of cash. A house in Zandvoort also became transparent. In addition to cash, the police found drugs and a firearm here.
The police have several suspects in mind. Two men and two women from Heemskerk and Haarlem allegedly acted as money mules. This means that criminals were allowed to use their bank accounts in exchange for a part of the proceeds. For now, the suspects are free. Their mobile phones have been confiscated and will be interrogated at a later date.
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