21/11/2008

Gardaí Assist In Dismantling Skimming Network

Gardaí have been involved in an international operation to break up a criminal network involved in skimming ATM cards.

A total of 15 were arrested in three countries on Wednesday with some of the offences believed to have been committed in Ireland.

Gardai say they are working in conjunction with other police forces around the EU as part of the investigation, although Irish officers had not made any arrests.

According to reports today, seven people were arrested in Belgium, six in Romania and two in Spain as part of an action co-ordinated by Europol, the police intelligence service based in The Hague, and Europjust, the network of European public prosecutors.

The gang were believed to be responsible for card skimming offences in Romania, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, Spain, Cyprus and Ireland.

The gang are also thought to be involved in offences as far away as Turkey, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and Morocco.

The practice of card skimming uses a hidden device attached to ATM machines that copies bank card information, which criminals use to steal money from bank accounts.

(DW)

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