POLITICS

RCMP arrest Alberta man who US says is a suspect in international cyber crime

07/19/2012 07:35 EDT | Updated 09/18/2012 05:12 EDT
RED DEER, Alta. - Police in central Alberta have arrested a man wanted by the FBI as a suspect in an international ring that allegedly used the Internet to obtain and trade personal credit card and bank information.

RCMP say Eric Bogle, 23, of Red Deer was arrested on July 2 on a warrant that was issued in the U.S.

Mounties say they also searched a home in the area.

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office says in a news release that the two-year undercover investigation resulted in dozens of arrests in 13 countries.

The office alleges that the stolen information was either sold, or used to obtain money or buy goods on the Internet, which was then delivered to drop addresses.

Bogle is scheduled to appear in Court of Queen's Bench in Edmonton on Friday.

RCMP say that Canadian Justice Department officials are representing the U.S. State Attorney's Office in the matter, which the FBI is calling "Operation Card Shop."

"From New York to Norway and Japan to Australia, Operation Card Shop targeted sophisticated, highly organized cyber criminals involved in buying and selling stolen identities, exploited credit cards, counterfeit documents and sophisticated hacking tools," Janice K. Fedarcyk, FBI assistant director-in-charge, said in the news release.

The attorney's office says the FBI contacted institutions and people to inform them about the security breaches, and that the FBI estimates it prevented more than US$205 million in losses.

It says the FBI notified financial institutions that more than 411,000 credit and debit cards were compromised.

One person who was arrested in Tuscon, Ariz., Michael Hogue, is alleged to have offered malware for sale, including remote access tools that enabled users to turn on the webcam and record keystrokes of the victims' computers.

Jarand Moen Romtveit of Porsgrunn, Norway, is accused of using hacking tools to steal information from internal databases of a bank, hotel and online retailers. He then allegedly sold the information to others.

"Spanning four continents, the two-year undercover FBI investigation is the latest example of our commitment to rooting out rampant criminal behaviour on the Internet," Fedarcyk said.

She said the arrests would cause a significant disruption to the underground economy.