(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) BRUSSELS, June 26 (KUNA) -- As the peak summer holiday time approaches, over 141 individuals were arrested last week in the latest law enforcement swoop which took place at over 226 airports around the world, the European Union's police agency, Europol, reported Tuesday.
Between 18 and 22 June, 61 countries, 69 airlines and six online travel agencies were involved in the the Global Airport Action Days targeting criminals suspected of traveling with airline tickets bought using stolen, compromised or fake credit card details.
The International Air Transport Association estimates that the airline industry loses over USD one billion per year as a result of the fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets. In addition, millions of innocent citizens are affected through the misuse of their credit card data, said the Hague-based Europol, in a press release.
Fraudulent online transactions are not only highly lucrative for organised crime, but they are also often purchased to facilitate more serious criminal activities including illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings, drug smuggling and terrorism.
Europol's Executive Director, Catherine de Bolle commented that "Airline fraud is not only highly lucrative for fraudsters, it creates the risk of serious criminals and terrorists traveling around the world anonymously, potentially to endanger others. We are striving through initiatives like this one, working hand in hand with our private partners, to disrupt criminal movements and activities." (end) nk.bs