STA, 4 December 2018 - Slovenian authorities and banks took part in a massive Europe-wide effort to combat money laundering between September and November. In Slovenia, 33 money laundering cases were investigated during that period, with the authorities uncovering 32 money mules and seizing nearly EUR 1m.
The Police Administration said in a press release on Tuesday that it had investigated an increased number of money mules, individuals who receive money stemming from criminal activities to their bank accounts.
The funds most often come from fraud, business fraud and cyber-crimes such as IT breaches, phishing and online fraud, the police added.
What is a money mule?
A money mule is a person who transfers in person, via a courier, or electronically, money that has been illegally acquired for someone else. A money mule is usually paid from the money transferred, and often engage in such work thinking it is legitimate.
Fraud, forgery and money laundering
During the autumn campaign, the Slovenian police investigated 33 cases related to fraud, business fraud, forgery of documents and money laundering. The police investigated 32 money mules who received a total of EUR 2.8m to their bank accounts.
In cooperation with the Office for Money Laundering Prevention and Slovenian banks, the police temporarily seized EUR 970,000. They also arrested two suspects and conducted two house searches.
Money mules in Slovenia are typically foreign citizens who open bank accounts in the country to launder money.
The press release also says that Slovenian police conducted a long criminal investigation that resulted in the apprehension of two money mules, both Serbian citizens.
They were part of a scheme defrauding US companies via telephone and the internet. More than 60 transactions were carried out, defrauding 10 US companies of a total of EUR 3.7m.
In total, the Europe-wide campaign, dubbed EMMA 4, uncovered more than 1,500 money mules and nearly 170 people were arrested, the European Banking Federation said in a press release today, as it launched a campaign against money muling.