Israel: Lahav 433 Cyber Unit Raid “Snake’s Head” of a Crypto Scam Criminal Organization

The Lahav 433 cyber unit raided a company in Ramat Gan that developed “sting software” with which criminal organizations in Israel and abroad defrauded investors of tens of millions of euros by creating a fictitious “investment portfolio”. Ynet and “Yediot Ahronoth” reporter joined the dramatic raid and moments of the arrest of the suspects.

In recent months, the Blahab Cyber Unit 433 has conducted an undercover investigation into an Israeli company from Ramat Gan that developed “sting software” that allows criminal organizations in Israel and abroad to defraud investors with digital currencies to the extent of tens of millions of Euros. Those who are apparently behind the sophisticated sting are criminal organizations abroad and in Israel , including Jaroshi’s, Haya and Molner’s organizations, and Mosley’s organization. Yesterday the officers of the unit raided the company’s offices and arrested six suspects, including the CEO, an accountant and other officials. Lahav 433 investigators detained dozens of other suspects for questioning.

As part of the fraud, criminals set up call centers across the country that appeal to investors in Europe and offer them to invest in crypto. The victims are given a username and password to a personal area on the Internet where they can see the “investment portfolio” and track the returns. The person who developed the software that controls the data and falsifies it is an Israeli company that sits in prestigious offices in Ramat Gan, near the stock exchange complex. The software presents the victims with a fictitious investment portfolio and gets them to continue investing large amounts of money, but the moment the client asks to withdraw the money, this does not happen and then the investors realize they have fallen for a scam. The investors who were stung are citizens of Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo, Germany, Spain and Israel.




Lahav 433 investigators were able to reach in the last few months several hotspots throughout the country that the criminal organizations operated and close them down. But the same criminal organizations continued and established new centers, and the police knew that they had to take control of the company that develops the sting software that allows criminals to create a fictitious investment portfolio. An undercover investigation by the cyber unit in Blade 433 that took place in recent months led the cyber unit investigators to the company’s offices, where they developed and maintained for the criminal organizations the software that allows them to present fictitious returns to the client.

The police defined this company as “the head of the snake”, and decided to raid the offices in order to stop the continued supply of the software to the criminal organizations in Israel and abroad. This is a joint investigation with the Authority for the Prohibition of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, the Tax Authority and the Office of the Chief Cybercrime Prosecutor of the State of Bavaria in Germany. The German police investigators arrived in Israel and joined the raid on the offices in Ramat Gan. During the police raid it was possible to notice that most of the workers there were young. It was evident that some of the suspected workers had no criminal record and were trying to make easy money.

The undercover investigation revealed that the suspects transferred the victims’ money to bank accounts in various countries in the world, including Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary, and they were opened and operated by straw companies, financial agents or payment service providers. The investigators from Germany collected many hundreds of testimonies from the victims amounting to a crime of about 16 million euros in Germany alone.

All the suspects arrived yesterday morning for another routine day of work and were surprised when Lahav investigators arrived at the company’s offices. The police demanded that all the suspects sit in their own place and demanded that they not touch the computers. The police’s fear was that one of the employees of the company would bring down the system that uploads the sting software, and therefore the police quickly raided the place, seized dozens of computers and immediately stopped the activity of the software that is provided online to the criminal organizations, which now makes it difficult for them to continue to carry out the crypto frauds.

The arrested suspects will be brought today for an extension of detention at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.

Sen. Dodi Katz, commander of the 433rd Blade Cyber Unit, said: “We managed to stem the ‘crime waterfall’ and bring down hundreds of centers that deceived many victims. This is a unique activity also in its international aspect, while cooperating with many countries and an investigative team from Germany. Combining arms and international cooperation led to an extensive and unique activity that significantly neutralized the criminal behavior of the suspects.”

Lawyers Shai Roda and Uri Goldman, who accompanied one of the suspects in the investigation – a senior programmer at the company – said: “Our client denies any connection to the suspicions and it seems that in the continuation of the investigation we will also be able to convince the cyber investigators of this.”


September 1, 2023 Published by The Ynet Israel News.

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