[LINK] Victorians help mafia steal cash

brd at iimetro.com.au brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Jan 22 14:43:43 AEDT 2007

further to a link discussion on this subject a few weeks ago

Victorians help mafia steal cash
Mark Russell
January 21, 2007
The Age

POLICE are alarmed at the increasing number of Victorians being recruited b
y the
Russian mafia to help it launder millions of dollars stolen from bank accou
on the internet.

The head of the state's police computer crime squad, Detective Senior Serge
Mick Nolan, told The Sunday Age the use of mules had become vital for crime
gangs involved in "phishing".

Phishing involves people being tricked into supplying their personal bank
account details by answering fake bank and building society emails. The sca
are believed to be robbing Australians of up to $2 million a month.

Mules are the middle men and women whose accounts are used for the initial
deposit of stolen money before it is transferred into a Russian account.

"What's becoming a real issue now is the proliferation of mule recruitment,
Detective Nolan said. "It's straight-out money laundering."

Another squad member, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Sevior, said:
"They'll use any method they can to try and find prospective employees. The
reality of it is, if you're offered a job that's going to pay you $1500 a w
or perhaps more and all you're required to do is move money from one place 
another once or twice a week, you need to be asking yourself some questions
to the legality of it."

The Russian mafia and Asian crime gangs recruit mules by sending emails to
targets who have applied for jobs online.

They also list jobs with online employment sites.

The emails claim to be from a company manager based in Europe or Asia who n
a representative in Australia.

One mule recruitment email states: "Our contractors are doing different wor
k for
Australian companies but have problems with getting the money, because our
sponsors agreed to pay only with the in-country bank wire transfers.

"So we need a person, 18-plus, authorised to work in Australia, who will re
the payments from our sponsors by wire transfers and transfer to our compan
with Western Union cash transfer, for example. We agree to pay you 10 per c
for each transfer plus all the fees connected with the transfers."

Mules are often asked to open a bank account into which the gangs deposit t
proceeds of phishing scams.

A Federal Police spokeswoman said there was evidence that over the past few
months both European crime syndicates and local criminals were increasingly
involved in mule recruiting.

She said a joint banking finance sector investigation team had been set up
within the Australian High Tech Crime Centre to trace the stolen money give
n to
mules before it was transferred overseas.

"One of the problems that the team faces is that it's not easily determined
which city or state is predominantly responsible for mule recruiting in
Australia as all the states are reporting it," the AFP spokeswoman said.

She said the Federal Police did not have statistics on the total number of 
who had been identified or how many had been arrested.

Queensland police, according to the nation's computer security agency Austr
Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), have been running an undercover
operation in which officers act as mules to target the online criminal gang

Victoria Police would not comment on whether it was conducting similar

Russians are coming

How the Russian mafia recruits:
¦Emails are sent offering jobs for "responsible, hard-working and motivat
applicants, and bogus job offers posted on employment websites;

¦"Mules" who reply are asked to set up an account with a bank where crime
have already hacked into accounts;

¦The gangs transfer money (usually under $10,000 to avoid suspicion) to t
mule's account;

¦The mule is then asked to withdraw the money, minus their percentage, an
d wire
to an overseas location.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

This message was sent using iiMetro WebMail 

More information about the Link mailing list