On May 5th FBI Legal Attache Office in Riga presented FBI Director’s Certificates to Mr. Dmitrijs Homenko and the Cybercrime Unit of the Economic Crimes Enforcement Department of the State Police of Latvia, and to Mr. Arturs Tomings, of the International Cooperation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office in recognition for their outstanding work during an international operation that resulted in the detention of members of a group which laundered millions of dollars for cybercriminals, more than 20 searches and five arrests.
“The FBI is committed to using every tool in our tool box to disrupt increasingly complex cyber crimes,” said FBI Pittsburgh Acting Special Agent in Charge Carlton Peeples. “We can’t do that without leveraging unique authorities, world-class capabilities and strong partnerships. Working together is the only way we’re going to stay ahead of these complex threats. I commend the work of our Latvian partners receiving today’s award and thank them for their diligence and persistence to helping us dismantle an organized criminal group that laundered millions of dollars for cybercriminals.”
"This is an exceptional example of the daily cooperation we have with our Latvian counterparts," said Riga Legal Attaché John Bivona of the FBI. “The FBI Director’s Certificate demonstrates our appreciation for the opportunity to work with our law enforcement partners on mutual goals of fighting the ever-increasing global reach of criminal activity. We were able to serve justice in this case because of the collective contributions provided by today’s recipients. The FBI looks forward to continuing this successful collaborative work through our Legal Attaché Office in Riga.”
“This was a unique case that showed that by coming together and setting up a joint investigation and strategic planning team, it was possible to work successfully and detect a crime. Even more, it was done while abroad. It was the first time of this kind of operation that involved so many searches and arrests in several countries at the same time. The main thing was to act at the same time, because the members of this organized criminal group communicated with each other, and we could not allow the information to leak between them, so they didn’t delete all the electronic evidence,” said Dmitrijs Homenko, Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Enforcement Department of the State Police of Latvia.
The representative of the Prosecution Office of Latvia Arturs Tomings emphasizes: “The number of countries involved in the fight against organized crime steadily increases. The carried-out operation shows that global organized crime can only be combated jointly, through cooperation between countries that have suffered from criminal activity and the ones prepared to support them by apprehending suspects or carrying out procedural and investigative activities. This operation proved that results can be achieved and important evidence necessary for the prosecution and subsequent conviction of the relevant persons can be obtained only through cooperation and coordination of further actions between all the countries involved. Organized crime can be stopped only by working together.”
The State Police of Latvia had previously reported that the Cybercrime Unit of the Economic Crimes Enforcement Department of the State Police of Latvia, in cooperation with the United States Federal Burau of Investigation (FBI), Portuguese law enforcement agencies and the European Union law enforcement agency Europol, carried out a series of operational measures and investigations, as a result, members of an organized criminal group, in which six were Latvian citizens, have been detained for money laundering. The money laundering group circulated at least 4.5 million euros through fictitious corporate bank accounts.