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Sample of the countless fake ID cards seized in Bucharest from the cyber criminal. Ministry of interior
Spain's most-wanted cyber criminal ever captured in Romania
Crime

Spain's most-wanted cyber criminal ever captured in Romania

The man from Murcia, who has been hiding in Bucharest for some time, has 33 warrants in connection with 300 charges against his name

Melchor Sáiz-Pardo

Madrid

Tuesday, 4 June 2024, 17:17

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Daniel M.V. was a nightmare for police in Spain for almost three years. He caused much grief for National Police, Guardia Civil and regional police in Spain. But the 29-year-old from the Vega Alta del Segura region of Murcia, dubbed the most wanted cyber criminal in the history of Spain, has been arrested in Bucharest in Romania.

His record is unparalleled in the world of online fraud in Spain: he has 33 warrants for more than 300 complaints for every imaginable type of online crime. And no one can rule out that after his capture, he could be charged with new internet scams.

The police operation which led to the discovery of the whereabouts of Daniel M.V. started in August in 2021 when five people reported having been swindled after their WhatsApp accounts were hijacked. That was just the beginning of a huge flood of complaints for identical offences. Eight other victims complained to the National Police at the same time.

In a short time police authorities received more than 300 complaints for all types of online fraud, but with their origins in the same points: impersonation by hijacking WhatsApp accounts and requesting money from contacts; holiday rental scams; contracting fraudulent micro-loans in the name of third parties; opening bank accounts by usurping the identity of third parties; phishing (a method of obtaining bank passwords and other confidential information by impersonating a trusted institution in an email or message); or smishing (a social engineering attack that uses fake mobile text messages to trick people into downloading malware, sharing confidential information or sending money to cybercriminals).

The cyber criminalthe also turned to the infamous "child in need" cyber fraud (sending messages via messaging applications posing as the victim's children and asking for urgent money to cover a supposed emergency).

Initially, officers identified five of the members of the crime network in Murcia, Malaga, Alicante and Tenerife and, as a result, then reached the leader of the group, "the mastermind and final recipient of the money", who was wanted for dozens of crimes in Spain and was on the run in Romania.

More than ten million euros

Once Daniel M.V. was located in the outskirts of Bucharest thanks to the collaboration of local police, Spanish officials discovered he had acquired an industrial printer for printing documents, "which he used for the telematic opening of bank accounts, using them to obtain and launder the fraudulently obtained money", according to sources involved in the case.

The cyber criminal then used the money to buy cryptocurrencies. With these 55 stolen identities, and through hundreds of open accounts, the detainee, according to the ministry of the interior, would have made money movements worth more than ten million euros.

A cryptocurrency mining station, two laptops, hard drives of a desktop CPU, several fraudulent bank cards, a special industrial printer for printing cards, more than 50 forged Spanish national identity documents were seized during a search of his home in Bucharest. Daniel M.V. is now back in Spain and has been taken directly to prison to be brought to justice.

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