24 March 2023,   10:32
Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, international partners solve transnational call centre fraud

An international investigation team created with the support of EUROJUST has carried out a large scale simultaneous operation in the territories of four countries including Georgia, with the involvement of representatives of the Prosecution Service of Georgia and competent authorities of seven countries.

“Within the scope of the operation, officers of the Federal Police and Prosecution Service of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Prosecution Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Security Service and Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia conducted investigative actions on tens of locations in Georgia.

60 law enforcement officers from Germany and about 300 employees of Georgian law enforcement authorities participated in this large-scale action that had been being prepared with international partners over the course of several months.

Throughout the operation, 5 so-called call centers, tens of individuals, their residences, vehicles and workplaces have been searched. Hundreds of electronic data carries, documentation and a large sum of money have been seized. At the same time, alleged proceeds of crime and funds on bank accounts have been frozen.

Within the scope of the large-scale operation, criminal prosecution against some organizers has been launched in various countries. One of the organizers of the criminal group has been arrested in Georgia.

The joint investigation conducted by the international investigation team concerns uncovering the activities of a transnational organized criminal group formed by foreign and Georgian citizens for the purposes of gaining material benefit.

According to the information obtained by investigation by far, the activities of the criminal group involves founding companies in various countries, including Georgia, and arranging so-called call centers on their basis. Through these call centers, they would take possession and subsequently launder the millions of euros owned by citizens of EU member states, including Germany.

Members of the criminal group would create various electronic trading platforms under various company names to operate these so-called call centers. These platforms ensured that the funds fraudulently obtained from users would be placed on the accounts of the shell companies.

Effectively combating transnational crime is particularly important to the Prosecution Service of Georgia and the latter has some experience of international cooperation in this regard, including the experience of productive cooperation with the competent authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany.

We would like to remind the public that as a result of the cooperation with German colleagues, the Prosecution Service of Georgia has launched criminal prosecution of 36 individuals and 2 legal entities involved in the activities of the so-called call centers on similar charges.

Likewise, investigation will continue with active cooperation with both the German side and competent authorities of the countries in the international investigation team to expose other persons involved in the activities of the organized group.

The Prosecution Service of Georgia thanks the employees of the Prosecution Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Security Service and Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia for conducting the operation in highly professional and successful manner. The Prosecution Service expresses its gratitude to EUROJUST representatives for their assistance within the scope of said joint operation.

Assuring its highest consideration to the Embassy of Germany in Georgia, to His Excellency the Ambassador, the German Police Attaché, prosecutor’s offices of Bamberg and Dresden, as well as to representatives of State Police of Bavaria and Saxony, the Prosecution Service of Georgia once again expresses its willingness to cooperate effectively in the fight against transnational organized crime”, - reads the statement of the Prosecution Service of Georgia.