US agents helped unmask Swedish credit card swindler
TT/David Landes · 24 Oct 2008, 09:49
Published: 24 Oct 2008 09:49 GMT+02:00
Known by the online alias “Kafka”, the 27-year-old resident of Mjölby in central Sweden has been under investigation for four years, reports the Östgöta Correspondenten newspaper.
He is suspected of taking part in a sophisticated international criminal network accused of stealing millions of credit card numbers form major US-based retail chains.
The man has been charged in Linköping District Court with serious fraud and preparation of serious fraud.
The indictment comes four years after Swedish police first raided the apartment of the 27-year-old.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. It may involve much greater sums of money,” Linköping public prosecutor Jonas Strömberg told the newspaper.
US authorities began investigating the network back in 2003, and brought indictments against 11 individuals in August of this year.
As a part of the operation, US agents relied on an informant from the ShadowCrew network who notified them that a Swede known as “Kafka” was one of the network’s better known members.
In October 2004, investigators caught a break when they were able to trace “Kafka’s” computer to an address in Mjölby, at which point the Secret Service requested assistance from Swedish law enforcement officials.
Specifically, the Swedish ShadowCrew member is suspected of having created a fake Citibank website through which customers were tricked into giving their account numbers and PIN codes.
The information was then used by the crime syndicate to create fake bank cards with which ShadowCrew members were able to withdraw more than one million kronor ($127,000)
Prosecutors allege that the 27-year-old was then paid 450,000 kronor for his efforts.