The fight for the extradition of Gal Barak to Austria between the authorities in Bulgaria and the responsible investigating authorities in Austria has already lasted more than 6 months. The court hearings scheduled in Sofia are regularly postponed. The next court hearing is scheduled for 4 November 2019. In the meantime, the search for Gal Barak‘s backers and partners has also begun. The Bulgarian magazine Lupo reported a few days ago that the Israeli “Top Fraudster” apparently wants to shift the blame onto his former “boss”, the Israeli Ilan Tzorya.
The EU Precedent
The cybercrime case around the Israeli Gal Barak and his E&G Bulgaria registered in Sofia, Bulgaria, is increasingly becoming a precedent for the EU. Is the EU able to prosecute cybercrime efficiently through its different national jurisdictions? Or does the EU fail in this important task?
The exciting thing about the Gal Barak case is that neither Gal Barak nor his partners Gery “Gabi” Shalon or Vladislav “Vlad” Smirnov are actually EU citizens. Nevertheless, their broker scams have left tens of thousands of damaged retail investors in the EU. Now this gigantic investment fraud must be dealt with in the courts. But Gal Barak, against whom an EU arrest warrant was issued in early 2019, was not alone. As a matter of fact, he does not really deny the investment fraud. Rather, he puts it into perspective and blames others. He would only have been a small wheel in the great Israeli fraud scheme. Others are to blame, he argues. While it’s for sure that Gal Barak was not the only perpetrator he cannot refuse his role as one of the masterminds of this EU fraud attack.
The Baraks’ blame others
Barak and his wife Marina, however, blame another Israeli, Ilan Tzorya, to be the mastermind behind the scheme. Also, his assistant Milena Kabadhzova is said to have been massively involved in the fraud activities around the binary option and broker scams of Gal Barak around the E&G Bulgaria EOOD registered in Sofia.
The fact is, however, that Gal Barak‘s wife, Marina Barak (former Marina Andreeva), was responsible for the finances of E&G Bulgaria and also coordinated the worldwide money laundering via the various offshore companies on the Marshall Islands, Anguilla or Hong Kong. The Barak’s and their cybercrime organization used offshore companies like Bright Ideas, GM Globe, Wave Market, Rockarage, or Dynamic Solutions to funnel millions of stolen money to Israel.
The Russian-Serbian connection
The competent authorities in the EU are now also aware of the involvement of Israeli Gery “Gabi” Shalon and Russian Vladislav “Vlad” Smirnov. The meanwhile arrested German Uwe Lenhoff was also part of the leadership of the Cybercrime Organisation of Gal Barak. Of particular interest to the authorities are the activities of this cybercrime organization in the Balkans. In Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina this cybercrime organization has operated numerous companies and boiler rooms.
The EFRI EU Petition
The case will be of paramount importance for the future of the EU-wide fight against cybercrime. If the EU countries Bulgaria and Austria fail to agree on further action against the fraudsters, this will not be good for the future of the EU in the fight against cybercrime. It also means nothing good for the damaged small investors. For this reason, the EFRI, co-founded by FinTelegram, launched an EU Petition Against Investment Scams a few days ago to fight cybercrime. The aim of this EU petition is to raise awareness of the danger of cybercrime for EU investors and the stability of the EU financial market.