The European police service (Europol) announced on Monday the arrest of a 39-year-old man in Singapore, who allegedly caused damages of at least six million euros in a fraud scheme with masks and disinfectants.
“A 39-year-old man was arrested in Singapore on suspicion of involvement in money laundering crimes through commercial email schemes related to Covid-19,” European police said in a statement. According to Europol, the suspect “usurped the identity of a legitimate company and announced the rapid delivery of FFP2 protective masks and hand sanitizers”, in a scheme that would have injured a European pharmaceutical company by more than six million euros.
Without specifying, Europol states in the press release that “a European Member State reported that one of its pharmaceutical companies had been injured by € 6.64 million by that individual”, since, after this company had made a transfer at this value for a bank in Singapore, “the supplier proved to be unreachable” and the materials never appeared.
After the complaint, Europol contacted the Singaporean authorities to block the payment and to arrest the suspect who was to receive the money, which took place in late March.
In the note, the European police service reinforces the warning made a few days ago, that “criminals are rapidly taking advantage of opportunities to exploit this crisis, adapting the way they operate”, asking citizens to be cautious.
The new coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has already infected more than 1.2 million people worldwide, of whom more than 70,000 died. Of the cases of infection, more than 240 thousand are considered cured.
After appearing in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation.
The European continent, with more than 676 thousand infected and more than 50 thousand dead, is the one with the highest number of cases.