Friday 22 January 2021

Dubai Police bust international cybercriminals network

DUBAI, June 26, 2020

The Dubai Police recently busted an international cybercriminals network involved in money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft and arrested its kingpin Raymond Igbalode Abbas, also known as "Hushpuppi." 
The special operation dubbed "Fox Hunt 2," which took down the suspects for committing crimes outside the UAE, also saw the arrest of Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka "Woodberry" along with ten other African cybercriminals.
A similar operation in February dubbed Fox Hunt 1 led to Dubai Police arresting an African gang of nine fraudsters specialising in cyber scam after they had run 81 fake business across 18 countries around the world.
Lt. General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-chief of the Dubai Police, pointed out that the arrest of 'Hushpuppi', 'Woodberry' and ten gang members was another feather in the cap of Dubai Police.
"Similar to operation 'Fox Hunt 1' that took down an African gang of nine online scammers last February, Op 'Fox Hunt 2' is another painful hit to cybercriminals who try to mess with the world's security and safety," remarked Al Marri.
He further reaffirmed the force's commitment to foil cyber fraud and online scams using the latest technology. 
"As criminals constantly change their criminal methods, Dubai Police works tirelessly to qualify elite officers and employees specialising in understanding the latest technologies to tackle emerging and transnational organised crimes," he added.
Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs and an expert, said the suspects were caught in a series of synchronised raids by six SWAT teams from Dubai Police. 
"The operation was carried out in a highly professional manner in terms of planning and execution as well as setting a zero hour to take down all gang members in the same time," stated Al Mansouri.
Al Mansouri also lauded the efforts of the task force assigned to the case. "The investigation teams at Dubai Police have done a great job in utilising AI-based technologies, including the Criminal Data Analysis Centre at Dubai Police, to track down the cyber fraudsters," he added.
Revealing the operational details, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, in Dubai Police, said that upon receiving the security intelligence about an African gang involved in money-laundering and cyber fraud, a team was formed to track down the suspects and nab them.
"After verifying the available information, the team had started to track the gang including "Hushpuppi", who celebrated his wealth via social media platforms as a businessman, in an attempt to lure victims from all over the world," Al Jallaf said.
Al Jallaf said the anti-cybercrime task force tracked down the gang members and detected their criminal activities including creating fake accounts on social media sites with fake nicknames. 
The Dubai Police team found that the gang was also hacking corporate emails to deceive clients into making money transfers into their bank accounts.
"The suspects also targeted victims overseas by creating fake websites for well-known companies and banks in a bid to steal credit card information and then launder the stolen money," Al Jallaf continued.
The director of Dubai CID said the raid resulted in the confiscation of incriminating documents of a planned fraud on a global scale worth AED1.6 billion ($435 million).
"The team also seized more than AED150 million ($40.9 million) in cash, 13 luxury cars with an estimated value of AED25 million ($6.8 million) obtained from fraud crimes, and confiscated 21 computer devices, 47 smartphones, 15 memory sticks, five hard disks containing 119,580 fraud files as well as addresses of 1,926,400 victims," he said.
Further investigations led to the suspects overseas bank accounts and fake credit cards as well as documents and files linked to the gang's illegal activities, he added.-TradeArabia News Service 


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