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21st Nov 2023

Nine men arrested as Gardaí seize €1.2 million in cryptocurrency

Simon Kelly

Garda Crypto

The seizure is the first of its kind by Gardaí.

Nine men have been arrested as part of an investigation by An Garda Síochána which saw €1.2 million worth of cryptocurrency seized.

The operation involving the seizure of cryptocurrency was the first of its kind in the area of Organised Cyber Enabled frauds by the Gardaí.

The “complex criminal investigation” involved money laundering and Smishing (a type of fraudulent SMS/WhatsApp message which encourages people to click on a link) nationally and internationally.

The men were arrested in Waterford between September and October as part of the ongoing investigation, which also saw €30,000 other monies frozen, two vehicles seized, one property identified in Dubai and the identification of organised criminal connections across Europe, the UK, Dubai and South Africa.

Two of the men are currently facing charges before the courts.

Gardaí warn public of dangers of smishing scams.

The arrests come as the country is experiencing a rise in scams such as smishing (SMS), vishing (call) and phishing (email), which target unsuspecting people into giving away their personal data.

In a statement to JOE, a Garda spokesperson said:

“An Garda Síochána is asking members of the public to always be suspicious of texts and calls asking for any personal data or money.

“Sophisticated fraudsters use texts, calls and emails to trick members of the public into giving away their personal data, enabling the fraudsters to take over their bank account/devices or debit/credit card details.”

Gardaí have warned people to be wary of texts and cold calls and to always ask the caller their name and for their phone number.

People are also warned to be cautious of any apps that may give fraudsters control of your device and to never ever click on links or give away personal data.

Victims are advised to change their passwords/pin codes, report it to their bank ASAP and ask them to do a recall, then report it to Gardaí.

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