#DontBeAMule Campaign results in 2,500 arrests in 25 countries through weeks of money mule targeting
In a coordinated operation against money mules and money laundering, police in 25 countries made nearly 2,500 arrests, according to Europol.
The strike, which targeted the mules and their recruiters, took place between mid-September and the end of November.
This year, around 1,800 banks, financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges, Fintech and KYC firms, and global computer technology businesses all assisted law enforcement in their efforts.
The announcement was made to mark a week of awareness in the #DontBeAMule campaign.
The campaign will educate the public about how these criminals operate, how to spot the signs, and what to do if they end up a target. It is accessible for download in 26 different languages.
Europol, Eurojust, Interpol, and the European Banking Federation (EBF) were among the organizations engaged.
Today, 8,755 money mules and 222 recruiters of money mules were discovered, according to a statement from Europol, and 2,469 people were detained globally. Additional results included:
- 4,089 fraudulent transactions were identified;
- 1,648 criminal investigations started and;
- €17.5 million intercepted.
The European Money Mule Action (EMMA), which included the weeks of action, has expanded internationally, with actions taking place in places like Colombia, Singapore, and Australia.
The concept behind EMMA, which has been in operation for eight years, is that exchange of public and private information is essential to combating the sophisticated crimes of the current period.
Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Singapore and Hong Kong (China), Ireland, Italy, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States were among the countries that took part.
"The issue may seem trivial, yet the amount of criminal money being laundered through this method is not," Europol said in a statement to the media on Monday. "Money mules are a significant part of the money laundering landscape, enabling criminals to swiftly move funds across a network of accounts, often in different countries."
"The use of money mules is especially widespread in cybercrime, with the mules transfer the proceeds from their jurisdiction to the criminal’s home country."
By fLEXI tEAM