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Russia Arrests Third Cybercrime Group

The Russian authorities are claiming to have arrested a third cybercrime group following previous high-profile detentions.

The six individuals were detained in different regions of the country and have “special knowledge in the field of international payment systems,” a source told the state-run TASS news agency.

They are suspected of committing vaguely worded technology and online-related crimes. However, the report claimed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is asking Moscow’s Tverskoy Court to detain the six under part two of article 187 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

This relates to making counterfeit cards and other payment “documents” by an organized crime group. That makes it likely they are involved in payment fraud or other parts of the cybercrime supply chain, like carding forums.

According to the report, the detained are Denis Pachevsky, general director of Saratovfilm Film Company; ‘entrepreneur’ Alexander Kovalev; Transtechcom employee, Artem Bystrykh; Get-net employee, Artem Zaitsev; and two people described as unemployed, Vladislav Gilev and Yaroslav Solovyov.

The news follows two major cybercrime busts since the start of the year in a country known for turning a blind eye to law enforcement in this area.

The first involved 14 alleged members of the REvil group, or at least its affiliates. The second, just over a week later, was of four suspected members of the infamous InFraud group, including its alleged founder Andrey Novak.

During its seven-year reign, the latter group reportedly made as much as $568m by running a popular marketplace for carders.

Although there are no signs Russia is planning to extradite any of these individuals if found guilty, the REvil raid, in particular, appears to have been conducted with intelligence and cooperation from US law enforcers, which is a rarity.

However, some commentators have suggested the arrests are more of a propaganda stunt by the Russian state and that its basic strategy remains the same: allowing cybercrime to flourish in the country as long as it’s directed at foreign victims.

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