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For the ninth consecutive year, the Slovenian Police successfully participated in Europol's international operation EMMA 9 (European Money Mule Action), which was aimed at combating money mules who illegally receive funds mainly related to computer crime and online fraud.

EMMA 2023

This year's campaign took place from 15 September to 30 November 2023 and involved law enforcement authorities from 26 countries, including the USA, Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. In Slovenia, the public awareness initiative was also joined by the Bank Association of Slovenia.

This year's operation identified 10,759 money mules worldwide causing the loss of 100 million EUR from fraudulent transactions

According to Europol, a total of 10,759 money mules and 474 recruiters were identified, with 1,013 money mules arrested. In cooperation with the European Banking Federation, 10,736 fraudulent transactions and around 100 million in losses were reported. Due to the efforts of law enforcement and other stakeholders, around 32 million EUR in losses were successfully prevented.

221 cases investigated in Slovenia and 254 money mules identified after illegally receiving 13.6 million EUR

The Slovenian police investigated 221 cases involving money mules in an effort to prove elements of various criminal offences: fraud, attack on information systems and money laundering. In total, we identified 254 money mules who had illegally received funds in their accounts in total amount of more than 13.6 million EUR.

We managed to stop and prevent 1.3 million EUR in losses

In cooperation with the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering, Slovenian banks and foreign law enforcement authorities, the police managed to temporarily stop and prevent the loss of around 1.3 million EUR to Slovenian and foreign natural and legal persons. In the course of our investigations, we interviewed 49 suspects, carried out 8 house searches, arrested two perpetrators, and issued 35 international legal assistance requests and 17 European Investigation Orders.

Most cases involve money mules operating abroad and illegally receiving funds to the detriment of Slovenian citizens

Most of the cases involved money mules abroad who had illegally received funds in their transaction accounts originating from online fraud crimes against Slovenian natural and legal persons.

Some cases also involved Slovenian citizens who were the recipients of stolen funds and thus money mules.

Are they promising you easy money? Do not receive transfers from online strangers and do not give them your transaction account number

A person may be guilty of money laundering or of being an accessory to fraud if they receive funds in their bank account which they know, or should and could have known, have been acquired through a criminal offence, and then transfer them, as requested, to another transaction account, withdraw them in cash or use them in an economic activity, thus concealing the origin of the funds and preventing the return of the stolen funds to the victim.

If you are not careful, you can quickly become a money mule yourself. So be careful. Do not accept money into your transaction account from persons or business entities with whom you have no business or other relationship.

Notify the police

If you realise that you are a money mule, report it to the police immediately. If the money mule is someone you know, warn them of the consequences and advise them to inform the police as soon as possible.

For more information on the operation, see Europol's press release: Paper trail ends in jail time for 1 013 money mules