Coronavirus: Europol arrests man behind €6M face masks and hand sanitisers scam

Pierluigi Paganini April 07, 2020

While crooks continue to exploit the Coronavirus outbreak, the Europol announced to have arrested a man involved in COVID19 business scams.

The Europol announced the arrest of a 39-year old man that is allegedly involved in Business email scam (BEC) connected to the current Coronavirus outbreak. 

The man has been arrested early this week in Singapore after the authorities noticed a suspicious transaction that requested the transfer of funds to a bank in the country. 

According to law enforcement, the suspect usurped the identity of a legitimate company to advertise the availability of FFP2 surgical masks and hand sanitisers

The man was claiming the ability to fast delivery huge quantities of the above products, he was targeting large organizations in his scam scheme.

The man has stolen €6.64 million by a European pharmaceutical company, a European State reported. The company paid for the products transferring the funds to Singapore, but they never received them.

“A European Member State reported to Europol that one of their pharmaceutical companies had been defrauded of €6.64 million by this individual. Once the pharmaceutical company transferred the funds to a bank in Singapore, the items were never delivered and the supplier became uncontactable.” reads the press release published by the Europol.

The Europol immediately took action to block the payment with the help of authorities in Singapore. Local police identified the man who had received the funds and arrested him on 25 March. 

The Coronavirus outbreak is sustaining an unprecedented demand in hygiene products, surgical masks, and drugs that could care the COVID infection.

Unfortunately, such kind of scams is becoming very popular, crooks are targeting organizations and also private individuals that are interested in buying Coronavirus-related products.

The Europol recently announced the result of an international operation, dubbed Operation Pangea, which has brought together police from over 90 countries in a bid to stem a rising flood of criminal enterprises relating to COVID-19. 

The Europan agency has seized €13 million in drugs that were illegally offered for sale to users concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak. 

“As reported in a recent Europol report, criminals have been quick to seize opportunities to exploit the crisis by adapting their modi operandi or engaging in new criminal activities.” concludes the Europol. “Law enforcement is taking a very serious view on all those who are trying to profit from the anxieties and fears of victims throughout the crisis. Europol is working 24/7 to support police officers as they face these unprecedented challenges.” 

[adrotate banner=”9″][adrotate banner=”12″]

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Europol, Coronavirus)

[adrotate banner=”5″]

[adrotate banner=”13″]

you might also like

leave a comment