Members of the Police Central e-crime Unit arrested a 34-year-old man suspected of organizing money mules to open drop accounts in order to launder the proceeds of online crimes abroad and was taken into custody a central London police station.
Their investigation also uncovered equipment believed to be used for manufacturing payment cards, which police think were being prepared to have details taken from stolen identities encoded onto them.
A number of blank cards with magnetic strips were also seized.
Detective Inspector Paul Hoare, from the PCeU, said: “Money Mules are one of the key enablers for all types of fiscal fraud and Internet based crime in particular. This arrest reinforces our commitment to combating suspected money ‘muling’ in both London and across the UK. Individuals tempted by advertised job opportunities moving money using their bank accounts should not get involved as they could be taking part in wider organized money laundering crime.”
Identity theft can be linked to a number of serious crimes, from terrorism to organised immigration crime. The MPS are dedicated to tackling the ever changing threat of identity fraud and during National Identity Fraud Prevention Week (NIFPW) want to concentrate on getting the general public to take simple steps to protect themselves.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Downing from Operation Sterling, who is leading the MPS activity in support of the campaign, said: “This PCeU operation highlights yet another way fraudsters are using stolen identities to commit crime. Simple things like ensuring you destroy your paperwork, not posting any of your personal details online and never divulging your PIN or password to anyone, will go a long way in stopping fraudsters stealing what you have spent your whole life creating – your identity. Identity Fraud is not a victimless crime.”