The Tübingen police office and public prosecutor arrested six suspects for allegedly using stolen bank and card information to buy expensive electronics and reselling them through various internet mediums. Tübingen police arrested the so-called “nationwide computer fraud gang” after months of complaints from victims of identity theft.
According to the Tübingen police, the computer fraud gang both purchased stolen information from darknet markets and collected data through malware they had installed on the computers of German victims. According to the intentionally nondescript statements made by authorities, the end of the gang’s reign began in July when police opened a full investigation into all six suspects’ activities.
Citing “tactical reasons,” officials refused to reveal further information regarding the start of the investigation. Investigating the suspected gang of cyber criminals “was very time and personnel intensive,” the Tübingen police reported. Since the suspects resided in several towns, a close cooperation between the each town’s Criminal Police was necessary. The suspects ranged from 22-years-old to 57-years-old and lived in Stuttgart, Rottenburg, Tübingen, Dotternhausen, Schwäbisch Gmünd, and Reutlingen.
On the morning of the nationwide arrests, local police forces coordinated and stealthily executed warrants. Police officers entered houses and apartments in the early morning and, based on the items pulled from one suspect’s house, caught the gang members by surprise. Police reportedly found “high quality consumer electronics” such as smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and laptops. They also seized storage mediums of unidentified variety. Along with some of the computers, the storage devices may have belonged to the conspirators as personal devices.
The police suspect the group ordered the electronics to packing stations instead of their real addresses. From the stolen and subsequently resold electronics, the group made only ”several thousand Euros.” Assuming “several thousand Euros” was used to describe a figure less than “tens of thousands of Euros,” the police may not have accurately calculated the number of fraudulent transactions placed with stolen bank accounts and credit card numbers.
Police are now investigating the possibility that the group distributed drugs in addition to stealing identities and flipping products purchased with the victim’s finances. In an apartment in Rottenburg that two suspects shared, the authorities found several hundred grams of marijuana and amphetamine. The suspect’s had allegedly packaged both the amphetamine and marijuana for shipment. One can draw their own conclusion as to what the duo had planned next.
The Rottenburg duo also had “dealer-like” items in the apartment. Dealer-like items, the police told the press, suggested some form of narcotics trafficking. Marijuana and amphetamine distribution would be a safe assumption.
A temporary arrest warrant allowed the police to hold the suspects for a short period of time. All six conspirators are now free pending the next court appearance.