Argentine law enforcement make arrests and, for the first time, seize crypto assets, in investigation of criminal SIM swapping operation
Earlier this year, Argentina’s Prosecutor’s Unit Specialized in Cybercrime Investigations (UFEIC) within the Judicial Department of San Isidro in Buenos Aires dismantled a cybercrime ring and, for the first time, seized crypto-assets as part of a prosecution. TRM is proud to have supported the UFEIC in this investigation.
The prosecution and investigation team, led by the Prosecutor Alejandro Musso, Denis Ariel Banchero, Alejandro Martín Orlandini, and Diego Lugo, identified and arrested six members of the C14 criminal organization for hijacking victim cell phones through phishing and “SIM swapping” – the act of gaining unauthorized access to a victim’s phone by duplicating SIM cards or fraudulently causing a cell phone provider to switch phone access to a new cell phone.
"This is the first of its kind in the country, done in the way that American and European security agencies like the FBI and Europol do it," says Alejandro Musso, the prosecutor in charge.
During a raid UFEIC investigators recovered electronic wallets and for the first time in Argentina, transferred recovered funds to a wallet under the control of Argentine authorities.
The investigators, using TRM to map out the criminal network through cryptocurrency tracing, were able to identify additional victims, complicit money mules and additional members of the criminal organization.
After the arrest, Musso focused on the importance of training and education. “What we did with this is to break the barrier of doubts for judges and prosecutors because nobody wanted to do it, as everyone had many doubts about how we could seize funds from both a technical and legal perspective.”
This is just the latest UFEIC disruption, which continues to use blockchain intelligence tools to identify and mitigate illicit use of cryptocurrencies.
Access our coverage of TRON, Solana and 23 other blockchains
Fill out the form to speak with our team about investigative professional services.