Interpol has Intercepted  Million

Interpol had coordinated an operation that was codenamed HAECHI-I. The purpose of this operation was to curb the increase in online fraud and intercept the transfer of illicit funds from the victims to the perpetrators of the crime.

The HAECHI-I team comprised of more than 40 law enforcement officers across the Asia Pacific region. This operation is the first in a three-year project to tackle cyber financial crime.

The team had worked fervently and had intercepted a total of a massive USD 83 million in illicit fund transfers.

Operation HACHI-I is focused mainly on five types of online financial crime:

  1. Investment Fraud
  2. Romance Scams
  3. Money Laundering associated with illegal online gambling
  4. Online Sextortion
  5. Voice Phishing

Success of the Operation

During the 6 month phase, commencing from September 2020, more than 1400 investigations were opened, of which 892 have been solved. A total of 585 individuals were arrested and more than 1600 bank accounts were frozen across the world in connection with financial scams.

Online fraudsters often attempt to exploit the borderless nature of the Internet by targeting victims in other countries or transferring their illicit funds abroad,” said Ilana de Wild, INTERPOL’s Director of Organized and Emerging Crime.

The results of Operation HAECHI-I demonstrate that online financial crime is fundamentally global and that only through close international cooperation can we effectively combat these criminals,” added Ms de Wild.

Fraudulent Invoices

In February, one of the trading partners of a Korean company had requested payment for a series of invoices. The bank details on these invoices had been tampered with.

The company had transferred almost USD 7 million to the fraudster, before realising this and alerting the Korean law enforcement authorities who in turn swiftly alerted Interpol’s financial crimes branch.

The money was however swiftly routed to bank accounts in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and China. Though the funds were moved swiftly, the authorities were able to intercept more than half of such transfers.

The key factors in intercepting illicit money transfers are speed and international cooperation,” said Amur Chandra, Brigadier General of the Indonesian National Police and Secretary of Indonesia’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau. “The faster victims notify law enforcement, the faster we can liaise with INTERPOL and law enforcement in the relevant countries to recover their funds and put these criminals behind bars.”

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Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.