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Bristol men arrested as part of international operation targeting ‘go-to service for criminals’

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Three Bristol men are being investigated as part of an international operation that saw the takedown of Genesis Market, one of the biggest online marketplaces selling stolen credentials to criminals worldwide.

Warrants were carried out by officers from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU) and Avon and Somerset Police in Eastville and Sneyd Park on Tuesday morning (April 4). A search was also carried out at the home of a man in Lawrence Weston.

The international operation, which involved 17 countries and was led by the FBI and Dutch National Police, saw Genesis Market taken offline yesterday.

  • A 29-year-old man from Sneyd Park was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act (CMA) offences and money laundering and has been released on bail.
  • A 21-year-old man from Lawrence Weston was arrested on suspicion of CMA offences and has been released under investigation.
  • A 24-year-old man from Eastville will be interviewed at a later date.

UK activity was coordinated by the National Crime Agency, who have described Genesis Market as a ‘go-to service for criminals seeking to defraud victims’. It hosted around 80 million credentials and digital fingerprints stolen from over two million people.

Detective Inspector Ross Flay from the SWROCU said: “Genesis Market traded in digital identities, providing criminals with the details they needed to gain access and steal from victims, either by directly moving money out of an account or using the credentials to pay for goods and services.

“It shows the link between cyber crime and fraud, which is now the crime type that affects the most people in the UK.

“As well as the arrests yesterday, we have information about several other potential users of the platform across the region who will be visited by SWROCU or their force cyber officers in the coming weeks.

“Enforcement is just one part of this: it’s vital people take action to protect themselves by identifying whether their data has been compromised using the dedicated website and following the steps outlined by the NCA. Ultimately, whether people have been affected by Genesis or not, the advice to secure your devices and online accounts applies to everyone.”

Members of the public are encouraged to take action to find out if their devices and/or accounts have been compromised and to protect themselves from future attacks.

Full advice, including how to report, is available on the NCA’s website via this link

Full details of the international operation are on the NCA’s website here