The Interpol has seized USD 83 million belonging to victims of online financial crime from being transferred to the accounts of their attackers.
The result followed an Interpol-coordinated operation called HAECHI-I, that involved over 40 law enforcement officers specialised in fighting cybercrime across the Asia Pacific and took part between September 2020 and March 2021.
Throughout Operation HAECHI-I, Interpol agents opened over 1,400 investigations targeting cybercrime in the Asia Pacific region, with 892 cases having already been solved and the rest still being investigated. During this time, law enforcement focused on battling five types of online financial crimes: investment fraud, romance scams, money laundering associated with illegal online gambling, online sextortion, and voice phishing.
The stolen funds were blocked from getting into the scammers’ accounts following multiple joint operations and months of collecting intelligence on the attackers’ operations. Five hundred eighty-five arrests were made worldwide, and more than 1,600 bank accounts belonging to perpetrators of cyber-enabled financial crime were frozen.