Members of ‘premier’ international cyber fraud group charged

A UK national is among 36 people indicted in the US over their involvement with a cyber-fraud ring linked to the loss of £381 million.

Feb 8, 2018

A UK national is among 36 people indicted in the US over their involvement with a cyber-fraud ring linked to the loss of £381 million. A US grand jury has returned the indictment against members of a transnational racketeering group known as the ‘Infraud Organisation’. Operating under the slogan ‘In Fraud We Trust’, members of the group used an online forum to buy and sell stolen credit card numbers, financial information, social security details and passwords. Following an international operation involving law enforcement from countries including the UK, US, France, Australia and Kosovo, 13 members have been taken into custody. British man Anthony Nnamdi Okeakpu, 29, has not yet been arrested. Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki described Infraud as the “premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide”. He added: “The Department of Justice refuses to allow cybercriminals to hide behind the anonymity of the web stealing personally identifying information, emptying bank accounts, and wreaking havoc on our nation’s digital infrastructure and financial system. “We aggressively investigate, indict, and when possible, prosecute the cybercriminals responsible for such brazen attacks. “The charges and arrests announced today are a victory for the rule of law.” The US government estimates that over $530 million – around £381 million – has been lost due to the Infraud Organisation’s activity. The group has almost 11,000 members but many of them have never met in person as they operate from across the globe. In 2011, one Infraud member suggested he had 795,000 login details for HSBC bank accounts available for sale. Other companies including Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and American Express are thought to have been targeted by the organisation. Derek Benner, of Homeland Security Investigations, said: “The criminals involved in such schemes may think they can escape detection by hiding behind their computer screens here and overseas. “But as this case shows, cyber-space is not a safe refuge from justice.”

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