Cyberattacks: Over a Hundred Arrested in Interpol Operation in West Africa

The International Criminal Police Organization conducted a large-scale operation over several weeks targeting those responsible for Internet scams in West Africa. 103 people were arrested.

An Interpol operation against organized crime based in West Africa, specializing in internet scams, led to the seizure of two million euros and the arrest of a hundred people in various countries, announced Tuesday, August 8 the international organization in a press release.

During this operation called “Jackal” targeting organized crime groups in West Africa, such as “Black Axe” (the “Black Axe”), some 2.15 million euros were seized or frozen . The mobilization resulted in the identification of more than 1,100 suspects, and 103 arrests. More than 200 bank accounts have been blocked.

These criminal groups, violent and mafia gangs have become known for their misappropriations on the internet: scams via corporate emails, love scams, inheritance scams, credit card or tax fraud, scams prepayment and money laundering.

In Portugal, for example, four investigations led to the seizure of 1.4 million euros. In Ireland, the operation resulted in 34 arrests. A total of 21 countries participated in the operation: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ivory Coast, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa , Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

“Operation Jackal” took place between May 15 and May 29, says Interpol. A similar operation in 2022 resulted in the seizure of 1.2 million euros and 75 arrests.

“The message sent to West African criminal networks is strong: no matter where they hide in cyberspace, Interpol will hunt them down relentlessly. The illegal activities of Black Ax and similar crime syndicates will remain a priority for Interpol,” said Isaac Kehinde Oginni, director of IFCACC, Interpol’s center specializing in financial crimes and the fight against corruption, quoted in the press release.

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