Over 200 Garda investigatons launched into 'Money Mule' accounts

An Garda Síochána have identified 659 Money Mule accounts, six Money Mule recruiters and prevented the estimated loss of €1.8million as part of the European Money Mule Action ‘EMMA 6’ worldwide operation against Money Mule schemes, which ran from September to November in 2020.

As a result of Garda investigations during this period, approximately 200 investigations have commenced and 71 arrests were made.

This is part of a worldwide operation led by Europol and law enforcement authorities from 26 countries which resulted in 422 arrests and 4,031 Money Mules being identified alongside 227 Money Mule recruiters, preventing a total loss of €33.5 million.

This week, Europol and EU law enforcement authorities, including An Garda Síochána, together with international partners and financial institutions will launch the #DontBeaMule campaign to raise awareness among the public on the risks of money mule schemes.

An Garda Síochána continue to appeal to the public, particularly students and younger people, to never authorise any individuals or groups to utilise their bank account, ATM card, or pin number, advising that there are consequences including arrests, charges and convictions for persons acting as money mules for organised crime groups.

A conviction of this type:

• Carries a potential prison sentence of 14 years

• Could affect visa applications to work in some countries

• Could place the person on terrorist watch lists

• Could affect ability to work in financial sector anywhere in the world

• Could affect credit rating and vetting applications;

In addition to this, the money mule is aiding international organised criminal groups and enhancing their capability to make money. This action is financing drug and people smuggling, terrorism and prostitution, among many other offences.

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