A London court has jailed three men for a massive phishing scam which netted the personal details of around 30,000 bank customers from around the world.
Police arrested the gang members - Sunday Godday Etu, Inout Caraman and Adrian Iorgovean - late last year, acting on intelligence that more than 2600 phishing pages had been placed online.
The pages mimicked genuine banking sites, and were designed to dupe unsuspecting victims from countries including the US, Russia, China, Australia, Canada and the UK into logging on and providing their banking credentials, which Etu then used to steal money.
The Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) tracked all three men to a luxury hotel in central London, catching them red-handed using laptops to log into servers storing compromised banking data.
Officers worked with counterparts in the US and France to secure servers, finding that the trio had obtained the personal details of almost 30,000 bank customers - 12,500 of which were in the UK. Over 70,000,000 e-mail addresses - potential phishing targets - were also stored on the server.
According to the Financial Fraud Bureau, up to £59 million worth of fraud from the 12,500 UK victims alone was prevented by the convictions.
Caraman and Iorgovean both pleaded guilty, receiving prison terms of seven years and two months and five years and seven months, respectively. Godday Etu pleaded not guilty but was convicted on several charges and jailed for eight years.