Four people have been arrested and £80,000 in cash seized as part of a Met Police investigation into the theft of an estimated £1m from UK banks using malware.
Two men, both aged 31, and two women aged 24 and 27, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to launder money during raids on properties in Enfield and Islington on Tuesday.
The two men, Gediminas Simkus 31, of Bowes Rd in Enfield and Volodymyr Kurach 31, of Stadium Mews, Highbury, were subsequently charged with money laundering and fraud.
Police said they recovered a hand grenade at the Enfield address, which was been made safe by specialist explosive officers. The men have been held on remand while the women have been bailed until early next year.
Computers, smartphones and luxury goods including designer jewellery and a Range Rover were also seized during the raids. The computers and smartphones will be forensically examined for evidence of wrongdoing.
Officers from the Met's new Cyber Crime Unit carried out the raids following complaints from unnamed UK banks that their customers had been defrauded after opening emails purporting the come from the banks that were actually booby-trapped with malware.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Tunn of the MPCCU said: “These arrests by the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit follow an investigation into what we suspect is an international and organised crime targeting a number of bank customers in London and across the UK. The victims have been hoodwinked by malware-carrying emails purporting to be from their banks, and subsequently had money taken from their accounts." ®