London

Four in court over 'cyber plot to steal from Santander'

Surrey Quays branch of Santander
Image caption Police said the bank could have lost "millions"

Four men have appeared in court over an alleged attempt to take control of computers at a Santander bank branch to steal millions of pounds.

They were charged with conspiracy to steal after an incident at the Surrey Quays branch in south-east London.

The cyber gang is alleged to have tried to use a "keyboard video mouse" to take control of all the branch's computers.

Earlier, 12 men were arrested as addresses in Hounslow, Westminster and Slough were searched.

It is alleged one of the plotters posed as an engineer in an attempt to fit a computer in a London branch of Santander with a "keyboard video mouse" device that allowed them to transmit its desktop contents.

The cyber gang is alleged to have tried to use the gadget to take control of all the computers at the branch in Surrey Quays shopping centre in south-east London but the attempt failed and the Spanish bank said they were unable to steal any money.

Lanre Mullins-Abudu, 25, from Putney, south-west London, Dean Outram, 34, from north-west London, Akash Vaghela, 27, from Hounslow, west London, and Asad AliQureshi, 35, from south-west London, spoke only to confirm their names and details when they appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with conspiracy to steal.

Mr Mullins-Abudu, Mr Outram and Mr AliQureshi were all remanded in custody by District Judge Howard Riddle and will next appear at Southwark Crown Court on 27 September.

Mr Vaghela was released on bail until the same date.

Eight other people have been bailed to a date in mid-November pending further inquiries.

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