Investigation into Arms Trade Uncovers Alleged Cybercriminal

Estimated read time 2 min read

An ongoing investigation into arms trade by the Landelijke Eenheid has led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man from Amsterdam earlier this month.

The suspect is believed to have participated in widespread and international scams, hacking, and money laundering for years, according to the Public Prosecution Service (OM). The suspect is believed to have earned over €400,000 from cybercrime and online fraud.

The Amsterdam police department tracked down the suspect in September 2022, following analysis of residual information gathered in the arms trade investigation. A comprehensive review of the data gave rise to suspicions of large-scale and international scams and money laundering against the 21-year-old Amsterdam resident.

Evidence Found on Seized Devices

On confiscated mobile phones and data carriers, the police discovered dozens of fake websites, also known as phishing panels, posing as Dutch and international banks from countries such as Spain, Ireland, and Germany. These websites can capture login details and allow the site’s administrators to access the victims’ bank environment.

In addition, police found lists or ‘leads’ with at least 1.5 million phone numbers or email addresses of potential victims. The suspect is believed to have used this data to send out ‘SMS bombs’ and phishing emails, scamming victims and stealing money domestically and internationally.

Financial Irregularities Detected

The suspect had access to multiple bank accounts, with thousands of euros in transactions suspected to have originated from phishing victims. Scrutiny of transaction records revealed that there were no funds received from any form of legitimate income such as salary, welfare, or benefits. Large amounts of money were received from foreign bank accounts in his name, and from accounts believed to belong to money mules.

Continued Investigation and Legal Proceedings

The investigation into the suspect’s alleged criminal activities continues. Last week, the Amsterdam court’s council chamber extended the suspect’s pre-trial detention by 90 days. Until last Friday, the suspect was held under complete restrictions.

Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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