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Cypriot police help take down German investment scam

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A Eurojust-Europol coordinated operation involving Germany, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Netherlands, and Ukraine has taken down a major fraudulent online German investment platform that defrauded victims of millions.

According to a statement by Eurojust, the main suspect ran a professional-looking trading site in so-called binary options, which projected high profits.

“Investors were defrauded for at least €15 mln. Investigators estimate the total amount of the fraud could even amount to approximately €500 mln,” Eurojust said.

After initial investments, victims were encouraged to pay more into the alleged investment fund, losing all of their money.

During an action day, one suspect was arrested, and eight places were searched.

The scammers operated between May 2019 and September 2021 and attracted mainly German investors with online adverts and social media.

After the initial contact, clients were approached by alleged financial advisors, who showed faked online graphic curves of rising profits.

Call centres were set up in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Ukraine, with German-speaking operators.

Also, a system of special algorithms and over 250 domain names and servers were used to conceal the scam.

Cyprus Police actions included the search of a residence and the offices of two companies in Limassol, while a 54-year-old resident was arrested as one of the prime suspects of the scam.

The police said four people were questioned in connection with the case.