THE HAGUE Money mules ar­rested in Euro­pean st­ing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

EURO­PEAN and US law of­fi­cials ar­rested at least 178 peo­ple in an in­ter­na­tional swoop against so-called “money mules” who helped laun­der mil­lions of dol­lars.

Across Europe, some 580 sus­pected “money mules” – peo­ple re­cruited to act as laun­der­ing agents for crim­i­nal gangs – were iden­ti­fied dur­ing last week’s op­er­a­tion, ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion agency Euro­just and Europol said.

“Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the il­le­gally ob­tained funds into their ac­counts, the in­di­vid­u­als act­ing as money mules are asked to wire the money into a dif­fer­ent ac­count,” said a joint state­ment, which also in­cluded the Euro­pean Bank­ing Fed­er­a­tion.

“These schemes are of­ten dis­guised as le­git­i­mate job op­por­tu­ni­ties and the mules may keep some of the money for them­selves as a com­mis­sion,” it said, adding that an es­ti­mated 23 mil­lion eu­ros was laun­dered glob­ally.

The mules played a cru­cial role in money laun­der­ing as crim­i­nal net­works gain ac­cess to stolen goods or funds with­out re­veal­ing their own iden­ti­ties.

If caught, they face jail time, a fine, com­mu­nity ser­vice or hav­ing to re­fund the pro­ceeds to vic­tims, said the agen­cies, who as­sisted 14 EU coun­tries as well as Ukraine and Moldova, with the help of the FBI and the US Se­cret Ser­vice, the state­ment said. –

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