The Australian Federal Police said in a statement on Tuesday that the investigation, jointly conducted with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, had been going for more than a year, and was now under the jurisdiction of the government's Serious Financial Crime Taskforce.
The two government bodies claimed the syndicate to which the woman belonged used stolen ID information obtained from the dark Web, along with single use SIM cards and fake email accounts, to steal the identity of numerous people.
These IDs were then used to create banks accounts and about 70 such accounts had been discovered. The stolen funds are said to have been laundered through an overseas contact to buy assets like jewellery. The remaining money was transferred back to Australia as cryptocurrencies.
“From identity theft, where innocent victims have their personal details stolen and sold online in dark net marketplaces; to hacking and phishing – this investigation has illustrated the devastating impacts that compromise of your identity can have.”
ASIC deputy chair Daniel Crennan said: “Cyber security threats such as data breaches and financial system attacks are a major concern for ASIC and we will continue to pursue not only cyber-related market and superannuation offending, but also the need for institutions to maintain their obligations to ensure they have adequate cyber resilience.”