By Dialogo June 16, 2010 A total of 178 individuals from twelve countries have been detained following the dismantlement of an extensive international network that forged credit cards, the Spanish police announced. The members of the network copied credit cards after having obtained their numbers and then withdrew money at ATMs and made purchases in stores, according to a statement by the police. The subgroups within the network’s complex structure, located in each country, “formed a mini-structure within the global framework of the organization and were subject to the overall strategic direction of the leaders at the top,” the police explained. “One hundred seventy-eight individuals have been detained, 84 searches have been conducted, and 11 forgery laboratories have been dismantled, belonging to a network that might have made over 20 million euros from its illicit activities,” the police statement specified. According to the police, the network was not only engaged in cloning credit cards, but also in “robbery, embezzlement, extortion, sexual exploitation, and money laundering.” “In Spain, 76 individuals have been arrested, 120,000 card numbers have been seized, and six laboratories for the cloning of credit cards have been dismantled, as well as a research-and-development laboratory in which 30 altered ATM card readers were found,” the police specified. At the same time, the police said that 30 individuals were detained in France, 16 in Rumania, 16 in Germany, 12 in Ireland, 8 in the United States, 7 in Italy, 4 in Hungary, 3 in Finland, 2 in Australia, 2 in Sweden, and 2 in Greece. However, the police did not specify the detainees’ nationalities.
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