Cybercrime Cases in Greece Soar: Online Fraud, Child Pornography

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

ATHENS – The age of the Internet and hackers is keeping Greece's Cyber Crimes Unit busy with the office reporting a 29.6 percent increase in the number of cases being investigated, mostly for fraudulent activities but with a number finding child pornography suspects.

The unit’s director Giorgos Papaprodromou told 104.9 FM that, “Most cases relate to the purchase of products such as cellphones or medicines, which are potentially dangerous and could put our fellow citizens at risk,” he said.

The force has stepped up its awareness campaigns for children to alert them to the potential dangers of the Internet, he said, with 40,000 children and parents attending seminars last year, up from 30,000 in 2016, alerting them to how children are preyed upon online.

In June, the unit apprehended a 20-year-old for allegedly distributing child pornography over the Internet, after an investigation in cooperation with international authorities led to the suspect’s home in Attica and at his workplace in Evia where police said they confiscated a hard disk and other incriminating evidence.

Earlier this year, the squad tracked down a 52-year-old Greek man and a 26-year-old Romanian alleged to have made a series of online purchases using stolen credit card details, Kathimerini said after a probe using a tip implicating the two in extensive online credit card fraud.

In July, a court in Thessaloniki accepted a French extradition request for Alexander Vinnik, a former bitcoin operator arrested on a US-issued international arrest warrant in northern Greece last year, wanted for alleged cybercrime, money laundering, membership in a criminal organization and extortion.