Authorities said on Wednesday that Spanish police cooperating with the U.S. Secret Service had shut down a criminal network that had stolen more than 12 million euros in more than 15 countries through credit card fraud.
The police statement said that the entire network covers more than three US states and 15 European countries, including Greece, Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ukraine and Germany.
It said fraudsters took advantage of a legal loophole that allowed US credit card holders to make purchases in Europe without funds, while banks on both continents were conducting transactions.
Even if the transaction was eventually rejected, the seller (in this case mainly conspiracy transactions in hotels, bars and restaurants) still kept the money.
The police statement stated that they then transferred the funds back to the ring of a hotel headquartered in Miajadas, a small town in western Spain, and set aside a piece as a commission.