Israel news website News 13 is reporting that a joint operation by law enforcement authorities in Israel and Germany has led to 15 arrests in Israel of suspects in a Binary Options trading fraud scheme. Four of those arrested will apparently be remanded in custody, with a request for those individuals to be extradited to Germany for trial there.
The move comes after a similar US-Israel police operation blew up earlier this month, after bringing down a supposed crypto trading scam targeting US retail traders. At the time 26 suspects were snapped up by Israel police, but within several days all the suspects were released.
News 13 reported that the 15 suspects were brought in for questioning, with 11 of them released at the end of their interrogation while another four will be brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court later today to discuss a request to extend their detention.
According to the report, the suspects set up call centers in Israel and in other countries around the world through which they persuaded citizens (mainly) in Germany to invest and trade in stocks via CFDs, foreign currencies and commodities. After transferring their money, the investors found out that no trades were made and that all their money was gone.
A search of the company’s offices in Petah Tikva in central Israel, where the main call center was located, led to a police seizure of computers, mobile phones, various documents and cash. In addition, funds were frozen from various accounts in the amount of approximately NIS 4 million (USD $1.25 million).
A police source reportedly told News 13 that Germany’s cyber security department has brought to the top of its priorities the scams around the world in the field of binary options and forex, and that Israel’s parallel unit was working closely with them.
The report also quoted Attorney Yaniv Segev, who represents one of the suspects. Mr. Segev responded: “At this stage, it is not right to issue a statement of any kind, but the facts must first be learned.”
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.