Interpol seizes over €2M in West African internet scam operation

By Agencies August 09, 2023 3230
  • An Interpol operation targeting internet scams in West Africa has resulted in the seizure of over €2 million.
  • Criminal masterminds captured, are considered major safety threats.

Interpol has successfully conducted an operation against organized crime in West Africa that mainly focuses on internet scams. The operation resulted in the arrest of over 100 individuals in different countries and the freezing or seizure of €2.15 million ($2.3 million) worth of assets. The organization made the announcement on Tuesday.

From May 15 to May 29, the International Criminal Police Organization conducted a crackdown that resulted in the freezing of bank accounts, arrests of suspects, and financial investigations being initiated globally.

Interpol conducted an operation known as "Operation Jackal" to tackle organized crime groups in West Africa, specifically Black Axe. This operation successfully identified over 1,100 suspects, made 103 arrests and blocked more than 200 bank accounts associated with the illegal proceeds of online financial crime. Interpol released a statement detailing these results.

Law enforcement agencies from 21 countries collaborated in an operation that resulted in the capture of numerous high-ranking individuals whose criminal networks posed a significant global security risk. These agencies included police forces, financial crime units, and cybercrime organizations.

Isaac Kehinde Oginni, the director of Interpol's Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre, emphasized that the relentless pursuit of West African crime networks, such as Black Axe and other similar syndicates, sends a clear message that their illegal activities will always be a top priority for INTERPOL, no matter where they try to hide in cyberspace.

Cyber-enabled fraud is on the rise with criminal organizations, violent gangs, and the mafia using technology for scams such as corporate email, love and inheritance, credit card and tax fraud, prepayment, and money laundering.