The police force in Spain has been quite busy in the recent past, attempting to quell the activities of organized crime centered in the gambling industry. In the most recent bust, the police uncovered the source of a group that had hacked into computer systems, stealing IDs to establish online gaming accounts.
Dubbed the “Pippen operation,” the endeavor was executed by the Computer Crime Service of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Granada, resulting in the apprehension of the alleged leader of the organization in Madrid. Additionally, a total of almost 50 people were placed on law enforcement’s radar in connection to this case.
The primary suspect is facing multiple charges related to money laundering, document falsifying, usurping of private data, computer hacking, and criminal conspiracy. Thus far, more than 260 victims, who had their identities stolen, have been identified by the police in Spain and other countries.
This investigation was a continuation of Operation Jordan, which took place one year ago and involved the same group of hackers, based in Madrid and Granada, who had allegedly broken into computer systems in order to commit fraud totaling approximately €53,000 (US$57,791).
After searching three residences in and near Madrid, the police confiscated four costly sports automobiles valued at over €450,000 (US$490,680), 50 computer systems used in the hacking, €70,000 (US$76,328) in cash, and 400 forged bank cards.
Data forensics revealed that the gang had produced more than 300 fake credit cards and opened more than 1,000 bank accounts, of which the majority were controlled by the leaders of the organization. Furthermore, the accounts were used to disguise the source and destination of illicit funds, as well as to take advantage of the sportsbooks’ new user registration bonuses.
The criminals had also sold the stolen IDs to other criminals, who used them to register with unlicensed platforms that do not adhere to the rules which require bettors and gamblers to present identification and a selfie in order to establish an online account.
At the time of his apprehension, the leader of the gang was living in a luxury villa outside Madrid with a price tag of €1.25 million (US$1.36 million). Additionally, his personal bank accounts, which have since been frozen, contained more than €200,000 (US$218,000). Law enforcement is still looking into whether the suspect had any other assets acquired through criminal activity.
Police across Spain have had their hands full in recent months as they battle organized crime related to the gambling industry. The so-called Pippen operation, coordinated by the Computer Crime Service of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Granada, recently led to the arrest of the alleged leader of the organization in Madrid and the identification of almost 50 other people potentially involved.
The main suspect is facing charges of money laundering, document forgery, usurpation of private data, computer hacking, and criminal conspiracy. The investigation has thus far uncovered over 260 victims in Spain and other countries, whose identities were stolen by the gang. This case is a continuation of Operation Jordan, which took place about a year ago in Madrid and Granada.
Data forensics revealed that the group had forged more than 300 credit cards and opened more than 1,000 bank accounts, with the majority held by the leaders of the organization. The accounts were used to conceal the transferred funds’ origin and destination, as well as to take advantage of sportsbooks’ new user registration bonuses.
At the time of his arrest, the group’s leader was living in a luxurious villa outside of Madrid, worth €1.25 million (US$1.36 million). His personal bank accounts contained more than €200,000 (US$218,000), which have since been frozen. The authorities are still investigating whether he had any other assets that could have been acquired through criminal activity.