On 19 October, Balkan Insight carried an article saying that call centres are popping up across the Balkans, and one Israeli-run network was used to defraud tens of thousands of mainly elderly Europeans of an estimated €200 million. In September, a court in Austria found the Israeli ringleader, Gal Barak, 33, guilty of fraud and money laundering and sentenced him to 4 years in prison. However, while police in Austria and elsewhere in Western Europe spent several years investigating the case, it remains unclear whether authorities in Serbia and Bulgaria have done the same, fuelling suspicion among some that the large-scale operation – involving dozens of call centres and hundreds of employees – enjoyed protection by some elements of the state. It says that call centres are a growing business in Belgrade, where many young, educated Serbs speak English and are IT literate but wages are far lower than in much of the rest of Europe.
I had omitted the following link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y