Bank phishing gang arrested after hotel swoop

First joint ops as National Cyber Crime Unit merger nears

UK police have arrested three men accused of being involved in large-scale Trojan phishing attacks against a range of banks.

Picked up in a London hotel after an operation described as "intelligence-led", the two unnamed Romanians and a Nigerian were arrested on 29 October on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud, police said.

The men are alleged to be behind the appearance of 2,000 bogus bank login pages that had been part of a campaign to steal account details.

The police press release didn't go into much detail beyond confirming that the attacks had hit a sizable number of bank users, leading to the theft of money.

Computers were seized while further searches are being carried out in London and the Midlands.

The operation was the first carried out jointly by the Police eCrime Unit (PCeU) and the Serious Organised Crime Unit Cyber wing as the two move towards their merger as the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) on 1 October 2013.

"The dynamic nature and successful outcome of this operation, which has prevented distress and financial loss to numerous UK victims, clearly demonstrates the benefit of brigading resources and expertise in this increasing and specialist area of criminality," said PCeU head, Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie.

The PcEU has had a relatively busy few years. Earlier in the year, it arrested 14 individuals accused of being behind a phishing attack that cost one British woman her entire £1 million life savings.

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