Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Seven in southern England charged over money laundering

Seven men have been charged with allegedly laundering money stolen from online bank accounts.

They were arrested at addresses in Portsmouth and West Sussex on Tuesday morning, Hampshire Constabulary said.

A possible link between the raids and 20 arrests by the Met Police's Central e-Crime Unit over the theft of £6m from online accounts is being investigated.

The accused, who are all Polish nationals, are due before Portsmouth Magistrates' Court later.

Detectives said the inquiries began after "irregular bank account activity".

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said they were arrested as part of Operation Aggregate, an investigation into a group which was believed to be operating as a cell of a larger organised crime gang.

Foreign exchange

The spokeswoman said: "The group is alleged to have accessed victims' online bank accounts and transferred money to accounts under their control.

"It is alleged that the men then used bank cards to withdraw the stolen cash at foreign exchange facilities.

"There are potential links between the Hampshire investigation and arrests made on Tuesday by the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit."

She added: "It is too early to comment further on this link at this time whilst this is under investigation."

The charged men are: Daniel Jarco, 30, of Market Street; Sebastian Stepka, 26, of Sandringham Way; Piotr Buscek, 31, of Leas Court; Krysztof Klatta, 29, of Abbotsbury; and Damien Grabowski, 26, of no fixed abode, who are all from the Bognor Regis area

Also charged are Marek Lach, 32, of St Augustine Road, Littlehampton, who is also known as Daniel Kwasniak, and Piotr Karolewski, 20, of Laburnum Grove, Portsmouth.

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