Brabant hacker wanted for stealing €500,000 from international companies

The police are looking for a 47-year-old man from Boxtel, who is suspected of stealing some 500 thousand euros by hacking into a Belgian company's email account, the police said in a statement on Wednesday. The man is on the run. On Wednesday the police searched his home, and the homes of his family members in Boxtel. Data carriers, computers and admin were seized.

In 2015 the Belgian company was making a deal with a company in Jordan to sell airplane parts to the Jordan company for around 500 thousand euros. The communication between the two companies happened mainly by email. When the deal was done, the Belgian company sent an email to the Jordan company with bank details into which the money must be transferred. The hacker changed these bank details to another account.

The Jordan company therefore paid the money for the deal into the wrong account. The companies realized something was wrong when the Belgian company never received the money.

According to the police, it quickly turned out that there was a link with the Netherlands in this case. Investigation led to the 47-year-old man from Boxtel. A large part of the stolen money was transferred to his bank account. The banks realized that fraud may be involved, and managed to recover around 100 thousand euros of the stolen money.

The police investigation also revealed that shortly after this transaction, over 20 of the Boxtel man's acquaintances had large amounts of money paid into their accounts. They kept a small part of this money, and gave the rest of it in cash to the Boxtel man. They were questioned as suspects of money laundering, the police said.

A few months ago the police received an email apparently from the Belgian company. It stated that this was all a misunderstanding, and the company would like the police to drop the investigation. Investigation revealed that the email did not come from the Belgian company, but was sent from an IP address traced to one of the suspect's friends. 

The Boxtel man is still at large.