The criminal network purchased computer equipment using hacked bank data, before reselling it using fake identities.
Police arrested the suspects including a married couple, the husband’s brother, and a delivery agent, following a complaint issued by a company operating in the field of electronic commerce, said a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
The company explained that the customers had bought computer equipment using pirated international payment cards.
After monitoring the equipment’s delivery, police arrested the suspects in Harhoura, near Rabat.
Investigations led by security services revealed the involvement of one of the suspects, with the complicity of his brother and wife, in the hacking of international bank card data, before using it for online purchases.
The suspects then sold the equipment using other people’s national identity cards, added the statement, noting that the role of the fourth suspect was limited to delivering the equipment without verifying the sellers’ true identity.
Search operations in the suspects’ homes led to the seizure of several computers, tablets, cell phones, and televisions, purchased using forged bank data.
Police also seized a number of national identity cards. Investigations remain ongoing to determine the origin of the cards and how the suspects obtained them.
The authorities referred the arrested individuals to a public prosecutor, pending investigation.
The operation is reflective of the Moroccan police’s increasing focus on cybercrime. In December 2019, the DGSN revealed that police responded to 384 cybercrime cases during 2019.
The majority of the crimes are online scams and sexual blackmail, and a large number of the crimes targeted foreigners living outside of Morocco.
The Moroccan authority transferred 61 of the recorded cases to the International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol. It also transferred nine other cross-border cases to Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to treat them diplomatically.
Morocco was the first non-European country to sign the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime in 2001.
The international treaty seeks to address internet and computer crimes by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.