Europol makes a move against airline fraudsters

From: RegTech Analyst

Europol has made 79 arrests after a crackdown on airline fraud which involved 60 countries, 56 airlines and 12 online travel agencies.

The organization investigated 165 suspicious transactions and 79 individuals suspected of traveling with airline tickets bought with stolen, compromised or fake credit card details.

Some of the cases were linked to illegal immigration, where the passengers held counterfeited IDs or valid documents from others of different nationalities. One of those arrested was charged with parental abduction.

The operation, Global Airline Action Days (GAAD) saw collaboration between countries around the world, including the US, Singapore, Canada and Colombia.

Card-not-present (CNP) fraud is a major problem around the world, with criminals using compromised cards to buy a range of products from airline tickets to car rentals to accommodation. Europol stated that airline losses are near $1bn per year as a result of fraudulent online purchases.

Europol deputy executive director operations Wil van Gemert said, “Airline ticket fraud is borderless by nature. This operation was the culmination of many months of meticulous planning between Europol, law enforcement, judiciary and border agencies, airlines and credit card companies, and is a perfect example of how our combined forces can make distinctive contribution in the fight against these criminal syndicates operating across borders.”

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