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Nine men arrested in Redbridge in connection with £11m malware money laundering racket

PUBLISHED: 14:10 04 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:38 07 November 2016

Arrests in Woodford Green (credit: NCA)

Arrests in Woodford Green (credit: NCA)

Archant

The men were among 14 people arrested across the UK as part of a operation targeting people suspected of being involved in international cyber crime.

The group is alleged to have laundered more than £11million which has been stolen in a sophisticated criminal enterprise using malware.

Redbridge police swooped to arrest eight men in Woodford Green and one 23-year-old man from South Woodford yesterday.

Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) say that the money was cleared out of victim’s bank account by skilled cyber criminals deploying malware in Eastern Europe.

After opening email attachments, a virus would be covertly installed on the victim’s computer, which enabled the criminals to gain access to their bank details.

Investigators allege that the money would then be dispersed in smaller amounts to other bank accounts in the UK and in Eastern Europe.

Those arrested are suspected to have laundered the criminal profits by setting up hundreds of accounts at various UK banks into which money could be deposited, using false identity documents.

Officers seized quantities of cash and electronic devices, including computers and mobile phones, that will be analysed by the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit.

Multiple false identity documents were also recovered.

Across the country, 160 officers were deployed as the NCA arrested 13 men and one woman aged between 23 and 52.

All the arrests took place in London except for one in Daventry and one in West Bromwich.

Insp Lee Canter of Redbridge Police said: The threat of cyber crime is an issue for everyone and it is important that the public and businesses are aware of the malware threat.

“Often the proceeds of cyber crime are used to fund other types of criminality.

“Today’s arrests demonstrate our continued commitment to removing criminals from our borough by working with partner agencies and organisations.

Mike Hulett, head of operations at the NCA’s national cyber crime unit said: “The NCA has had tremendous support from colleagues across law enforcement and the banking industry, to close down this money laundering network.

“Together we have made a hole in the system which will cause significant disruption to other organised criminals.”


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