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PCeU arrests 19 over multi-million pound online banking raids

29 September 2010  |  10943 views  |  0 digital fingerprints

UK police have arrested 19 people in connection with the theft of millions of pounds from online bank accounts.

The Metropolitan Police Services Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) arrested the 15 men and four women in dawn raids at addresses in London on Tuesday.

Authorities believe thousands of PCs belonging to UK citizens have been infected with malicious computer codes, including the infamous Zeus Trojan, enabling an organised criminal network to capture personal log-on details.

The gang is then accused of using the information to access bank accounts and fraudulently transfer funds to previously opened 'mule' and 'drop' accounts.

Several major world banks have suffered losses with around £6 million thought to have been taken from Brits in just one three month period although police say this figure is likely to "increase considerably".

The PCeU worked with the UK banks through its Virtual Taskforce gathering information and evidence ahead of making the arrests.

The 19 were arrested on suspicion of offences contrary to the computer misuse act, proceeds of crime act and fraud act and are currently in custody for questioning. Two were also arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson, PCeU, says: "We believe we have disrupted a highly organised criminal network, which has used sophisticated methods to siphon large amounts of cash from many innocent peoples' accounts, causing immense personal anxiety and significant financial harm - which of course banks have had to repay at considerable cost to the economy."

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