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Gardai have arrested nine men as part of an investigation into money laundering and smishing in Co Waterford. Investigating Gardai also seized currency, vehicles and property which are believed to be the proceeds of organised crime. Two of the nine men arrested are currently charged before the courts for various alleged offences. READ MORE: Fugitive brothers wanted in Ireland are flying family first class to visit them in new hideout in Mexico ‘Smishing’ is a scam involving SMS and WhatsApp messages claiming to be from official banks, post offices or delivery companies that trick the receiver into clicking a link. As part of the probe, officers seized €1.12 million in cryptocurrency which is the first major seizure of cryptocurrency by An Garda Siochana. A separate sum of €30,000 of other monies has been frozen, two vehicles seized, and gardai have also identified a property in Dubai as part of the money-laundering investigation. A garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí attached to the Waterford Division Crime Hub have been conducting a complex criminal investigation focusing on organised transnational criminal activity involving the bulk transmission of smishing texts (Fraudulent SMS/WhatsApp Messages), theft, deception and Money Laundering both nationally and internationally. “2 males are currently before the courts charged with various alleged offences contrary: Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 Part 7 of Criminal Justice Act 2006 Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001 “Investigating Gardaí have currently seized currency, vehicles and property believed to be the proceeds of the organised criminality: €1.12 million cryptocurrency €30,000 other monies frozen 2 vehicles seized VW Golf and Mercedes 1 property identified in Dubai “The seizure of cryptocurrency, in October and November 2023 as part of the investigation, is the first major seizure of cryptocurrency (now in excess of €1.12 million) in the area of Organised Cyber Enabled frauds by An Garda Síochána. “The criminal activity focuses on the criminal offence of Smishing involving fraudulent SMS and WhatsApp messages claiming to be from National Postal Offices, Delivery Companies, Financial Institutions, etc. “The investigation is being coordinated by the Waterford Crime Office with the assistance of GNECB (Virtual Assets Investigation Unit and FIU Ireland), GNCCB, Europol, Garda Passenger Information Unit (GPIU) and other Garda Divisions. “Europol and Garda Liaisons in Irish Embassies are facilitating the investigation team in liaison with other Police Forces to progress this investigation internationally. “The investigation to date has established that the criminal activity is operating in a number of countries in Europe, the UK, Dubai and South Africa. The investigation is also conducting enquires into persons of varying nationalities, multi-linguistic, fluent in a number of languages to deceive their victims both nationally and internationally. “Investigations are ongoing.”

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