It was reported on 23rd November that the National Police in Spain have arrested 63 “mules” in a European operation against money laundering. The police action, coordinated by Europol, resulted in the arrest of 178 people across Europe. Money mules play a crucial role in money laundering and criminal networks have access to the goods or stolen funds without revealing your identity. Those arrested in Spain could be involved in bank movements amounting to 3 million euros.

The operation was supported by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) of Europol and the Task Force Joint Action Against Cybercrime (J-CAT) and Eurojust and the European Banking Federation (EBF) forces participated plus security and judicial authorities in Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States.

Across Europe, 580 money mules were identified and the national law enforcement agencies interviewed 380 suspects in the course of the action week (14-18 November 2016), with overall reported losses amounting to EUR 23 million. During the week of the joint action, Europol and Eurojust set up a command post and a judicial coordination centre to assist the national authorities, cross-check all incoming data against the databases and collect intelligence for further analysis. Europol also deployed mobile offices to Italy and Romania. The successful hit on this wide-spread crime was supported by 106 banks and private partners.