An organised crime group involved in railway ticket fraud has been taken down thanks to joint action by the British and Romanian authorities. Europol assisted the operation on the spot by deploying a mobile office to Romania during the Action Day. Eurojust supported the national criminal investigations by setting up a joint investigation team between the UK and Romania, which was provided with substantial funding.
Simultaneous raids were carried out at addresses in the UK and Romania. As a result, 16 individuals were arrested in London and one in Leicester. The suspected gang leader was arrested in Romania.
A year ago, an investigation into an organised crime group dealing with counterfeit travel cards ticketson the British railways network was initiated by the British Transport Police in close co-operation with the Romanian Directorate for Investigation and Organised Crime and the Romanian Police.
Vigilant staff members on the railways detected the fake tickets and alerted the authorities, who subsequently launched a comprehensive investigation with the support of the Romanian authorities, Europol and Eurojust.
The investigation revealed that the total losses incurred by the British transport authorities were close to €20 million. The members of the gang have now been charged with crimes such as fraud, participation in a criminal organisation and cyber crime.
Further investigations into this organised crime group are ongoing.