Gardaí identify six ‘Money Mule’ recruiters in Ireland in operation that prevents loss of €1.8 million
A person convicted for being a ‘money mule’ can be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison and be placed on terrorist watch lists.
Gardaí have identified six Money Mule recruiters and made 71 arrests as a result of 200 investigations in a worldwide operation targeting Money Mule schemes.
The EMMA 6 operation, led by Europol from September to November, was conducted by law enforcement authorities in 26 countries.
In total, 4,031 Money Mules were identified along with 227 Money Mule recruiters. 422 arrests were made and it is believed the operation prevented a total loss of €33.5 million.
A 'Money Mule' is a person who receives money from a third party in their bank account and transfers it to another one or takes it out in cash and gives it to someone else, obtaining a commission for it.
In Ireland, Gardaí identified six Money Mule recruiters and 659 Money Mule accounts, arresting 71 people as a result of approximately 200 investigations which prevented a loss of €1.8 million in Ireland alone.
An Garda Síochána has continued to appeal to the public, particularly students and younger people, to never authorise any individuals or groups to utilise their bank account, ATM card, or pin number.
Gardaí advised that there are consequences, including arrests, charges and convictions for persons acting as money mules for organised crime groups.
A conviction of this type, for example, can lead to the following implications:
- Carries a potential prison sentence of 14 years
- Could affect visa applications to work in some countries
- Could place the person on terrorist watch lists
- Could affect ability to work in financial sector anywhere in the world
- Could affect credit rating and vetting applications;
In addition to this, Gardaí say, the money mule is aiding international organised criminal groups and enhancing their capability to make money. This action is financing drug and people smuggling, terrorism and prostitution, among many other offences.
News of the Gardaí investigations come as Europol and EU law enforcement authorities, including An Garda Síochána, along with international partners and financial institutions, launch the #DontBeaMule campaign to raise awareness of the risks of Money Mule schemes.
More information on Money Muling is available here.