The Serious and Organised Crime unit, the UK’s financial crimes warriors, have delivered a significant punch to an organized identity theft gang, believed to have been in operation for ten years.

The gang, which seems Eastern European in origin, operated behind the cover of a “Moscow Bank” in Great Britain and Spain. Victims have been traced throughout Europe and the United States.

Fake identities and cloned credit cards were used to purchase “electrical goods,” which were later fenced on eBay. The illicit proceeds of these transactions were “laundered” via PayPal and WorldPay accounts.

The TimesOnline reported:

Police discovered bogus passports, council tax documents, electoral registration applications, and bank statements as well as employment references from both an unsuspecting firm of solicitors and a fake one that were used to create false identities.

Cloned credit cards were used to buy cameras, computers, iPods, computer games, Royal Mint coin collection sets and other goods such as Liverpool FC strips from a variety of website traders. These items were then auctioned on eBay.

Link to TimesOnline story, here.

Unfortunately, a lot of the evidence was destroyed when one of the alleged gang members (while handcuffed) hit a power switch that wiped out the information.

Because of this – the true monetary implication will probably never be able to be determined from this activity.

Of course, even if the information was recovered, it’s entirely possible that there are other databases that have yet to be discovered, or never will be.

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