Three teenagers – including one aged just 15 – are to be investigated on suspicion of being part of a cross-continental £1-million card fraud gang.
West Midlands Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) swooped on homes in Great Barr and Cheylesmore on Tuesday (15/11) as simultaneous raids were carried out in Finland, Spain and Canada.
A man, aged 18, was arrested from the Birmingham address on suspicion of fraud and cybercrime offences – he has been bailed till a date in January – while a 15-year-old male was also spoken to by officers.
And a male, aged 17, was identified from the Coventry address as potentially being involved in the racket. He was not arrested but will be interviewed by officers as part of on-going investigations.
Detective Inspector Rob Harris from ROCU, said: “This is a wide-reaching investigation – one that was launched back in January this year – involving Europol, authorities on the continent, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“We’ve played our part by executing warrants at addresses in the West Midlands suspected of being linked to the card scam investigation and cybercrime offences that’s seen websites compromised and accounts taken over.
“Computer equipment and other digital devices have been seized from the properties and these will be forensically examined.”
The investigation aims to dismantle an organised crime group believed to have harvested details from more than 6,000 credit cards which have been used to attack some 170 e-merchants.
It’s believed the stolen card details have been used to carry out transactions topping £1-million before being sold on to other crime networks.
In total, 15 people were arrested as part of the cross-continental day of action.