BBC News

Ten charged over online theft from banks


Ten people have been charged by police investigating the theft of money from online bank accounts.

The charges of conspiracy to defraud and laundering money, follow the arrest of 19 people across the South East by the Met Police Central e-Crime Unit.

They are investigating the theft of at least £6m from online accounts over the past three months allegedly using software to record bank log-in details.

The accused, from eastern Europe, are due before magistrates in London later.

Four banks

Eight of those who will appear in court are also charged with money laundering.

An eleventh person has been charged with offences under the Identity Cards Act 2005.

They are due to appear in custody at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court.

Nine other people, six men and three women, who were arrested in connection with the investigation, have been bailed until next month.

Those charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering are Ukrainians Yuriy Korovalenko, 28; Yevhen Kulibaba, 32 and Roman Zenyk, 29.

Three are Latvians, Karina Kostromina, 33; Ivars Poikan, 29 and Kaspars Cliematnieks, 24.

A 27-year-old Estonian, Aleksander Kusner and Eduard Babaryka, 26, from Belarus, face the same charges.

Two Ukrainians, Milka Valerij, 29 and Iryna Prakochyk, 23, face a single charge of conspiracy to defraud. All the accused are registered as living in Chingford, Romford and Harlow in Essex.

A 34-year-old Georgian, Zurab Revazishvili, from Romford, was charged with identity offences under the 2005 Act.

Possible links

The online operations of four banks, HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB, were allegedly targeted between 13 October 2009 and 28 September 2010, according to the charges.

Meanwhile, seven men have been charged with allegedly laundering money stolen from online bank accounts, Hampshire Constabulary said.

The men, all Polish nationals who were arrested from addresses in West Sussex and Portsmouth on Tuesday, will appear before magistrates in Portsmouth.

Detectives are now investigating possible links between the men arrested in Sussex and Hampshire and those seized in London.