21 April 2017
The partner of suspected cyber criminal Ally Adam has been deprived of property and assets worth £1.6m following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The NCA issued proceedings in the High Court in relation to Lu Han’s £725,000 house in London and money in ten bank accounts held in her and Adam’s names, on the basis that these were the proceeds of crime.
The NCA believes Adam, deceased, was part of an international conspiracy to infect computers with the Dridex malware strain in order to steal bank details from their owners.
Dridex is a banking trojan, also called Bugat or Cridex, distributed mainly via infected links in fraudulent emails. It tracks victims’ computer use, steals their credentials and takes money from their accounts.
The NCA will recover close to £900,000 when recovery from bank accounts is finalised in addition to the house in Ingram Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon using civil recovery powers, under which a judge can order recovery of property where it is shown that it was more likely than not obtained through criminality.
A computer seized by NCA officers who searched Adam and Han’s home in 2015 showed Adam discussing attacking computers with Dridex and managing distribution of related malicious computer code.
Evidence on the computer also linked Adam to Andrei Ghinkul, a cyber criminal known as Smilex, who pleaded guilty in the USA in February of this year to stealing more than $2million from an oil company. He is due to be sentenced on 13 July 2017.
NCA officers believe Adam stole money using Dridex, which was laundered and paid into his bank accounts and those of Lu Han, 38.
Between 2009 and 2015 the pair had more than 60 bank accounts which received about £5million.
The NCA obtained a property freezing order in January 2016 to secure the assets, to which Han consented.
Stephanie Jeavons, deputy director of the NCA’s economic crime command, said: “Ally Adam was a serious cyber criminal and funded his lifestyle with other people’s money. He and his family lived very comfortably off his victims and his wife, Lu Han, continued to do so after Adam’s death. That ends now.
“Recovering assets through the civil courts deprives criminals of undeserved riches. Crucially for the NCA, it also removes cash and assets that would otherwise be available to fund further criminality.”