Antwerp police roll up thirteen-man gang on that 150,000 th …


After months of investigation, the Antwerp local police rolled up a gang that looted 150,000 euros through phishing, a form of internet crime. There were at least 46 victims.

Thirteen suspects were arrested on Wednesday during sixteen house searches in Antwerp, Essen, Schelle and Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. The gang allegedly took many thousands of euros from its victims from March 27 to April 3.

There was a draftsman employed who built fake websites. A ‘map star’ sent messages to possible victims, so that they would be directed to the fake website and leave their (bank) details there. The gang was also looking for young people who wanted to make their bank account and bank card available to store the stolen money. So-called ‘cashers’ took the money out of those accounts, ran money laundering in casinos, made luxury purchases online, or used special hard-to-trace payment cards. Most members of the gang were not ready for their test piece.

The Antwerp police conducted the investigation because the gang mainly operated from Antwerp. On Wednesday she proceeded to a series of simultaneous house searches, including in the prison in the Begijnenstraat. Thirteen people were arrested, ten of them will be brought before the investigating judge. It mainly concerns people in their twenties. At the request of the investigating judge, a 23-year-old man, a Dutchman, was also deprived of his freedom in Sweden. Surrender is requested for him.

During the searches, 10,000 euros in cash, luxury goods such as expensive designer clothing, accessories and brand shoes, ICT equipment, bank cards, casino membership cards and a vehicle were seized. Police also found about 1,300 grams of cannabis.

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