The International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) has stated that the Black Axe, a Nigerian confraternity that now operates as an international criminal organisation, is responsible for majority of the world’s cyber-enabled financial fraud and other serious crimes.
According to the information made available on the website of the inter-governmental organisation on October 16, Black Axe, through its broad and organised network, has become a major threat in terms of security and financial stability to the world.
“Illicit financial funds are the lifeblood of transnational organised crime, and we have witnessed how groups like Black Axe will channel money gained from online financial scams into other crime areas, such as drugs and human trafficking. These groups demand a global response,” said Stephen Kavanagh, Executive Director of Police Services, INTERPOL.
During one INTERPOL-coordinated ‘action week’ that was executed between September 26 and 30, police worldwide launched enforcement operations against individuals linked to the Black Axe group and successfully arrested many suspected criminal operators and money mules.
The operation also led to many raids, shutting down of premises and seizing assets related to ongoing cases of fraud all around the world.
In the end, the operation resulted in the interception of €1.2 million in several bank accounts, 75 arrests, 49 property searches, 7 INTERPOL Purple Notices detailing criminal modus operandi and 6 INTERPOL Red Notices, issued for wanted fugitives.
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Members of the group arrested so far were also said to have been living lavish lifestyles after defrauding their unsuspecting victims.
According to the United Nations, close to $2 trillion in illicit funds are laundered through the global financial system every year and only less than one per cent of these funds are intercepted and recovered.
To further combat Black Axe’s operation, the INTERPOL recently launched ‘Operation Jackal’. The new initiative is aimed at taking action against illicit financial flows orchestrated by the notorious crime network worldwide.
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The 14 countries participating in ‘Operation Jackal’ are Argentina, Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.