Ukraine police raid criminal crypto call center ring

Ukraine National Police have raided a criminal call center network that promised phony crypto investments to unsuspecting victims, seizing luxury cars and arresting an individual with links to a so-called ‘thief in law.’ 

According to a translated announcement from Ukrainian police on Monday, authorities detained 14 suspects accused of defrauding victims across Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and the European Union. 

Following 40 searches across Ukraine, authorities seized 12 luxury cars, 136 units of computer equipment, 951 SIM cards, and funds totaling $64,500.

As part of the operation, scammers called victims pretending to be employees at a stock exchange and, using ‘psychological techniques,’ persuaded them to invest personal funds into crypto. They then transferred the stolen funds to criminally controlled digital wallets and bank cards. 

Footage shared by Ukraine police of the raids against members of the crypto scam call centre. 

Read more: Europol raids money mules who laundered $10M for crypto scammers

Two detained suspects, a 49-year-old and a 51-year-old, are believed to have organized the network of call centers and hired the 12 other members.

Each accomplice is said to have had their patch entrusted to them and been given responsibility for planning the fraud, hiring personnel, and gathering information on their ‘clients.’ They additionally distributed funds among their group with police claiming that some decided to replenish the ‘criminal community.’

Authorities claim an organizer of the Ukraine crypto call center worked as a confidant for a so-called ‘thief in law’ nicknamed ‘Khmyelo.’ The term thief in law is taken from the Russian ‘Vory v Zakone,’ and is a slang term for a senior member of a criminal organization. 

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