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Polish Prosecutors Crack Massive Spoofing Ring: Millions Laundered Worldwide

SECURITYPolish Prosecutors Crack Massive Spoofing Ring: Millions Laundered Worldwide

The Lesser Poland Branch of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office Department for Organized Crime and Corruption in Krakow is overseeing the investigation against Tomasz M. and Uyi Destiny O. regarding an organized criminal group engaged in money extraction through so-called “spoofing.”

Spoofing

During the investigation, the prosecutor determined that the suspects, Tomasz M. and Uyi Destiny O., directing the activities within an organized criminal group, committed crimes involving the transferring and concealing of financial assets. These assets originated from “spoofing,” an attack on computer systems by impersonating another element of the information system. The perpetrators changed the bank account number of the entity authorized to receive payment from settlements between various business entities. Based on the evidence collected, the prosecutor established that the perpetrators broke the security of the company entitled to receive payment, then took over its email correspondence, including issued invoices with payment data, which they modified by providing a different bank account for payment. Subsequently, they created a fake internet address with a deceptively similar name. In many cases, the affected companies made payments to the substituted account, from which the money was partly withdrawn in cash and partly transferred to other accounts, including cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. The “laundered” funds were cashed out, invested in cryptocurrencies, or transferred to other foreign entities for further withdrawal and “laundering.” Funds also flowed into Polish accounts not only directly from the victimized companies but also from other entities that had previously conducted their “pre-laundering.” The perpetrators in transferring financial assets not only used the bank accounts of many proxy companies from different countries but also utilized cryptocurrency exchanges and payment platforms.

Victimized Entities Worldwide

During the proceedings, the prosecutor determined that the victims of the suspects were companies from nearly all around the world including France, Belgium, Armenia, South Korea, Indonesia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Germany, the USA, Chile, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, Algeria, Portugal, and the Philippines.

The group was led by Uyi Destiny O. (a Nigerian citizen residing in the UK) and Tomasz M. (a Polish citizen). Uyi Destiny O. organized the acquisition and transfer of financial assets, including foreign currency values from the victimized entities, and conveyed further information in this regard. Then, Tomasz M., directed activities in Poland, where the financial assets were received in bank accounts. Moreover, the suspect produced, transmitted, and used documents to legitimize and justify such transactions, also transmitting necessary information in this regard and recommended the execution of such actions. The aforementioned funds were received and transferred to other individuals and entities under fictitious titles that simulated real economic turnover. According to the investigation findings, the suspects laundered money totaling nearly 4.3 million euros, over 648 thousand USD, and almost 8.6 million Chinese yuan, equivalent to more than 5.1 million Polish zlotys. Additional financial assets amounting to 645 thousand zlotys, over 342 thousand USD, and almost 2.7 million euros were blocked.

Prosecutorial Charges

To date, Tomasz M. and Uyi Destiny O. have faced prosecutorial charges related to leading an organized group intended for committing crimes, money laundering, and falsifying documents.

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