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Romanian cops cuff 24 cybercrime suspects

Hammer falls after auction fraud

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Romanian police have arrested 24 people, all thought to belong to a single cybercrime gang. The group is suspected of involvement in various identity theft, credit card and auction fraud scams said to have raked in an estimated €400,000 ($634,000) from foreign victims, according to Romanian news reports. Targets of the scams reportedly included eBay, craiglist.com and Equine.com.

The gang's alleged ringleader, Romeo Chita, was arrested in a flat owned by Romanian lawmaker Dumitru Puzdrea, Mediafax.ro reports. The liberal politician said he was unaware of any allegedly illicit activities.

Romanian police worked together with the FBI on the operation leading up to the arrests. In May, US and Romanian authorities announced that a total of 38 people from both countries had been charged over an elaborate phishing scam.

Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama, has posted links to video clips of three of the arrests on his blog. Romanian police arrested suspects in the cities of Bucharest, Ramnicu Valcea, Sibiu, Alexandria, Dragasani, and Hundeoara in a series of raids that led to the seizure of equipment for manufacturing false identities, mobile phones, SIM cards, computers and cash in various denominations. ®

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