European operation targets airline ticket fraud online

Thursday 10 April 2014 16.57
Airlines identified suspicious activity, which was then confirmed by credit card companies
Airlines identified suspicious activity, which was then confirmed by credit card companies

A total of 113 people have been detained in more than two dozen countries as part of a large cross-border operation aimed at tackling online fraud in airline ticketing.

The two-day operation, which took place on Tuesday and yesterday, was co-ordinated by the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol.

A total of 113 people were detained during the operation and 70 were arrested in the operation.

Garda assistance led to the identification of one suspect outside the jurisdiction, but so far nobody has been arrested in the Republic.

This is the second time such an initiative has taken place.

Law enforcement agencies, 35 airlines, three major credit card companies and immigration authorities were all involved.

During the operation, suspicious online airline ticketing transactions carried out using suspected fake or stolen credit cards were identified.

The clampdown saw airlines identify suspicious activity, which was then confirmed by credit card companies.

This was backed up by fraud intelligence from the International Air Transport Association.

Enforcement officers were notified in transport hubs across the world, who intercepted and detained those trying to travel using fraudulently obtained flight tickets.

According to Europol, big increases in internet-facilitated crime have claimed millions of innocent victims in recent years, while the banking, airline and travel industries have suffered huge financial losses as a direct result.

Europol also said credit card fraud is a key facilitator for other forms of serious crime, including theft, fraud, illegal immigration, sex crimes and drug offences.