Home News “Hundreds of bank accounts used to launder profits of cyber theft” reports National Crime Agency

“Hundreds of bank accounts used to launder profits of cyber theft” reports National Crime Agency

by Brian Sims

Two individuals responsible for laundering millions of pounds stolen using the malicious software Dridex have been sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison following a joint investigation by the National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police Service. Over a two-year period, Pavel Gincota, 32, and 35 year-old Ion Turcan (both Moldovan nationals with Romanian Citizenship) funded a luxury lifestyle by laundering over £2.5 million worth of criminal profits through more than 220 bank accounts.

The money had been stolen by means of using Dridex, a malicious software (ie malware) sent via e-mail attachment which, when opened, allows criminals to remotely access the victim’s device and record their bank details.

Gincota and Turcan were under investigation by the National Crime Agency when they were arrested by Metropolitan Police Service officers in February last year for being in possession of multiple false identity documents. In a subsequent search of the pair’s home in Yiewsley, West Drayton, officers seized further fraudulent documents and several electronic devices.

Forensic examination of the devices by the NCA National Cyber Crime Unit confirmed that a laptop belonging to Gincota had been used to control the bank accounts through which the money was laundered. The pair were charged with conspiracy to possess false identification and conspiracy to launder money and were remanded in custody. Gincota was also charged with a separate money laundering offence in relation to a cyber fraud committed in Germany that occurred back in 2012 as a result of which the victim lost 25,000 Euros.

Both Gincota and Turcan pleaded guilty to all the charges against them and were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 4 October to five years and eight months and seven years respectively.

Steve Brown, senior investigating officer at the NCA National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan were serial money launderers who processed millions of pounds worth of stolen money through hundreds of bank accounts to fund their lifestyles. Those involved in the most serious types of organised crime depend on the services provided by money launderers like Gincota and Turcan to hide their criminal profits. The NCA will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to prevent organised criminals from accessing the proceeds of their crimes and to bring them to justice.”

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