A cross-border investigation into West African cybercriminal groups has resulted in 103 arrests and the seizure of more than €2 million (US$2.2 million).
The investigation, Operation Jackal, was led by law enforcement agencies across 21 countries on six continents and targeted cybercrime groups such as Nigerian criminal gang “Black Axe,” according to a statement from Interpol.
The Black Axe group has a reputation for cyber-enabled financial fraud, in particular business email compromise, romance and inheritance scams, credit card and tax fraud, and money laundering.
Isaac Kehinde Oginni, director of Interpol’s Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre, called the operation a successful demonstration of international cooperation, and a future blueprint for financial crime enforcement.
“It also sends a strong message to West African crime networks that no matter where they hide in cyberspace, Interpol will pursue them relentlessly. The illegal activities of Black Axe and similar crime syndicates will remain a priority for Interpol,” he said.
The operation began in May when €2.15 million ($2.36 million) was frozen or seized, 103 people arrested, 1,110 suspects identified, and 208 bank accounts blocked.