153 individuals have been detained following the sixth Global Airport Action Days (GAAD) major international law enforcement operation targeting airline fraudsters. The individuals are suspected of flying using airline tickets purchased with stolen, compromised or fake credit card details.
From 6 to 8 June 2017, 64 countries, 84 airlines and eight online travel agencies worked jointly with law enforcement officers to carry out operational actions in 230 airports across the world.
During the operation, 312 suspicious transactions were reported. As a result, 153 people were detained, denied boarding, questioned by police and criminally charged; several investigations are ongoing.
During the actions, new modi operandi were identified as being used by organised crime networks to gain access to transit areas in airports in order to facilitate illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Since many individuals use credit cards and fake identification documents to facilitate illegal immigration, Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) joined this year’s GAAD to provide better support to EU Member States and partners for fighting human smuggling networks. Europol specialists and analysts equipped with special technical equipment were deployed to several European airports.
Representatives from airlines, online travel agencies, payment card companies, Perseuss, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), worked together with experts from Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) to identify suspicious transactions and provide confirmation to law enforcement officers deployed in the airports.
GAAD was coordinated from operational centres at Europol in the Netherlands, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, NCFTA in the U.S., and Ameripol in Bogota. GAAD was also supported by UNODC (AIRCOP for Africa), the Latin American and Caribbean Intelligence Police Community (CLACIP), Canadian and US law enforcement agencies.
Law enforcement is now tackling this international phenomenon on a daily basis in close cooperation with the private sector. This has enhanced trust between all involved parties and will continue to inflict damage to the criminals involved in airline ticket fraud.
For more information visit the Europol website