Five Arrested Over £500k American Express Cyber Theft

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Cyber crooks spent stolen funds on Rolex watches, wine, diamonds, designer luggage and fine dining

The Metropolitan Police has arrested five men in relation to an investigation into an organised crime group, who broke into an American Express account and made off with £500,000.

Organised cyber crooks were believed to have spent the money on Rolex watches, wine, diamonds, designer luggage and fine dining.

It was claimed the criminals illegally accessed an American Express customer’s account details and gained control of their Black Centurian charge card, before going on a spending spree, in London, Barcelona, Madrid and Marbella, between December 2012 and March this year.

Young man in handcuffs - copyright FotoliaAmerican Express theft

“It is alleged that one of them purported to be the victim and used fake identity documents in order to fraudulently use the card in various high-end stores,” the Met said in a statement today.

The Met’s Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) swooped on six addresses in Lambeth, Harrow, Barnet, Enfield and Brighton, seizing  mobile phones, computers and financial documents.

Men aged between 30 and 45 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

American Express investigators were also heavily involved in the process. The firm had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The arrest came after the PCeU learned it is to lose its leader, Charlie McMurdie, who helped set up the unit in 2008.

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