Cops swoop on airline ticket thieves

europolEuropol said that over the  last three days, worldwide law enforcement agencies have taken steps to combat people using stolen cards to buy airline tickets.

The organisation said over 60 airlines and 45 countries took part in the joint activity at 80 plus airports worldwide.

The organisation said that in many cases credit card fraud is connected to other serious crimes including human and drug trafficking, with banking, airline and travel sectors suffering losses of $1 billion a year through fraudulent online ticket booking.

Three coordination centres in The Hague, Singapore and Bogota were set up and worked with airlines and credit card companies to identify suspicious transactions.

The operation resulted in 281 suspicious transactions being recorded and 118 people arrested.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright said: “This operation is another example of law enforcement and the private sector working seamlessly together, to prevent and fight cybercrime – this time identity theft and credit card fraud. We are reaching new levels with our cooperation and aim to become an ‘unbeatable alliance’ with aspirations to make cyberspace as crime free as possible for global citizens.

“Europol’s EC3 will continue to invest heavily in conducting similar operations and other activities that will make life harder for cybercriminals”. This international operation was the result of months of detailed planning between law enforcement, prosecuting and border control agencies, airlines and credit card companies, coordinated by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).