Title: Dominican Republic Dismantles Transnational Cybercrime Network Defrauding US Citizens
Date: [Insert Date]
By [Your Name], Journalist
SANTIAGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – In a major breakthrough in the fight against cybercrime, the Dominican Republic’s Public Ministry and the National Security Investigations agency of New York City announced the successful dismantling of a transnational cybercrime network. Following a 13-month long investigation, Operation Discovery 2.0 involved the execution of more than 15 simultaneous searches in the provinces of Santiago and Puerto Plata.
The criminal network was involved in scams, extortion, and identity theft, defrauding hundreds of US citizens. More than 20 prosecutors, 200 special operations agents, uniformed police, and the Department of Criminal Investigations (Dicrim) of the National Police participated in the operation, along with investigators and technicians from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against High Crimes and Technology Crimes.
During the operation, three operation centers of the criminal organization were targeted, resulting in the arrest of more than twenty individuals and the seizure of electronic equipment, vehicles, cash, clothing, and firearms. These call centers or “Call Centers” were pretending to operate legally while carrying out illegal activities.
The evidence collected by the investigative agencies is said to have sufficient probative force to prove the detainees’ involvement in various crimes described and punished under the Dominican Penal Code. These crimes include complicity, association of criminals, identity theft, fraud, and violation of other articles of Law 53-07 on Crimes and High Technology Crimes, fraud through computer, telematic and telecommunication means, and Law 155-17 on Money Laundering.
This successful operation comes just a month after a similar crackdown called Operation Discovery, which led to the arrests of 70 individuals across several call centers in Santiago, Santo Domingo, La Vega, and Puerto Plata. These individuals were allegedly involved in intimidating phone calls, fraudulent medicine deliveries, and posing as FBI agents.
The operation received support not only from local authorities but also from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Simultaneous raids were conducted in New York City, USA, leading to additional arrests and evidence gathering.
The Dominican Republic has been increasingly proactive in its efforts to combat cybercrime and protect its citizens and international visitors from falling victim to such scams. The successful collaboration between various agencies and international law enforcement highlights the commitment to address cybercrime across borders.