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Police arrest 70 at airports around the world in co-ordinated crackdown on credit card fraud

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Law enforcement authorities have arrested 70 people at airports around the world in a meticulously co-ordinated crackdown targeting criminals using fake or stolen credit cards to buy airline tickets. Europol, the European Union police organization which oversaw the operation, said Thursday that the arrests were made this week by police and customs officials at 68 airports in 32 countries. The arrests followed close co-ordination between law enforcement agencies, airlines and credit card companies.

International operation busts Bulgarian banking fraud ring

Bulgarian and Spanish law enforcement officers have busted an international crime ring stealing card numbers from ATM machines worldwide, authorities in Sofia said Saturday. Twenty-five people were arrested in Bulgaria, Spain and Hungary in a massive police operation coordinated by Europe's law-enforcement and judicial agencies Europol and Eurojust, Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security (DANS) said in a statement.

Global police swoop seizes millions in fake food, drink

A global police operation by Interpol and Europol has seized more than a thousand tonnes of fake food and drink worth millions of euros, Europol announced on Friday. "More than 1,200 tonnes of fake and substandard food and nearly 430,000 litres of counterfeit drinks have been seized," The Hague-based Europol said in a statement. Operation Opson III targeted counterfeit schemes in 33 countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia over December and January.

EU to eliminate visa requirement for Colombians, Peruvians

Bogota, Feb 4 (EFE).- The European Union reached an accord to eliminate the visa requirement for brief stays by Colombians and Peruvians, the EU delegation in Bogota said Tuesday. The agreement is a "verbal political decision" that was reached in Strasbourg by the European Parliament, Council and Commission, and must be ratified by the Permanent Representatives Committee, after which the official announcement will be made in Brussels on Wednesday.

EU to eliminate visa requirement for Colombians, Peruvians

Bogota, Feb 4 (EFE).- The European Union reached an accord to eliminate the visa requirement for brief stays by Colombians and Peruvians, the EU delegation in Bogota said Tuesday. The agreement is a "verbal political decision" that was reached in Strasbourg by the European Parliament, Council and Commission, and must be ratified by the Permanent Representatives Committee, after which the official announcement will be made in Brussels on Wednesday.

Europe MPs bemoan 'pandemic' of fixed football matches

European lawmakers said Wednesday that the fight against corruption in football was a "failure" and called for stronger punishment for cheats as the number of fixed matches soar. Belgian Socialist Marc Tarabella told the European Parliament during a debate that the EU's law enforcement agency Europol had detected 680 suspicious matches between 2008 and 2011. "Since the beginning of 2013, 200 new suspicious cases have been identified. The numbers are soaring," he said.

Rich Chinese snap up Portugal property for 'golden visa'

A dream home in Portugal is becoming a golden ticket for wealthy Chinese, where property assets can also yield a prized residence permit allowing them to travel and do business across Europe. Portugal is rolling out the red carpet to discriminating Chinese buyers, where they are stabilising property prices that have dropped by nearly a third during a deep recession that has accompanied the eurozone country's international bailout. One year ago the Portugese government launched a programme to attract wealthy investors, and the results are now beginning to bear fruit.

Rich Chinese snap up Portugal property for 'golden visa'

A dream home in Portugal is becoming a golden ticket for wealthy Chinese, where property assets can also yield a prized residence permit allowing them to travel and do business across Europe. Portugal is rolling out the red carpet to discriminating Chinese buyers, where they are stabilising property prices that have dropped by nearly a third during a deep recession that has accompanied the eurozone country's international bailout. One year ago the Portugese government launched a programme to attract wealthy investors, and the results are now beginning to bear fruit.

Dutch activists track alleged child abusers with help of digital "girl"

By Thomas Escritt THE HAGUE (Reuters) - An international children's rights group said on Monday it had passed details of 1,000 alleged Internet sex offenders to Interpol after trawling video chatrooms with the aid of a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina 'girl' named Sweetie. Terre des Hommes urged authorities to tackle the growing problem of minors being coaxed into performing sexual acts in front of a webcam, and said it would provide them with the technology it had developed.

Bulgaria holds out hope of entering visa-free Schengen

Bulgaria's foreign minister said Wednesday that his country was holding out hopes to join Europe's visa-free Schengen zone despite strong French opposition over the last week. "It is still realistic to achieve a staged Schengen accession," Kristian Vigenin told journalists in Sofia, saying he would bring up the issue during a visit to Paris next week. France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls last week dashed Bulgaria and Romania's hopes of joining the passport-free travel area next year amid a row over Roma migrants from the two EU members.
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