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11 charged over online bank thefts

Eleven people are due to appear in court in connection with a multimillion-pound online grab from British bank accounts.

The suspects - who are eastern Europeans based in the UK - are accused of various offences including conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.

They were among 20 people arrested earlier this week by hi-tech crime police after up to £6 million was taken from online accounts in just three months by a gang of computer hackers.

The thieves used a virus known as "zeus" to infect computers and capture the passwords and other sensitive details of banking customers.

Their money was then transferred into bogus accounts created by the crooks to help them launder the profits.

Eight people have been charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. They are Ukrainian Yuriy Korovalenko, 28, from Chingford, Essex; Ukrainian Yevhen Kulibaba, 32, from Chingford; Latvian Karina Kostromina, 33, from Chingford; Estonian Aleksander Kusner, 27, from Romford, Essex; Ukrainian Roman Zenyk, 29, of Romford; Belorussian Eduard Babaryka, 26, from Romford; Latvian Ivars Poikans, 29, from Harlow, Essex; and Latvian Kaspars Cliematnieks, 24, from Harlow.

Two have been charged with conspiracy to defraud: Ukrainians Milka Valerij, 29, and Iryna Prakochyk, 23, from Chingford. Georgian Zurab Revazishvili, 34, from Romford, is charged with offences under the Identity Cards Act 2005.

All will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Nine other people, six men and three women, arrested in connection with the investigation have been bailed pending further inquiries to dates next month.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson of the Metropolitan Police said the amount of money stolen was likely to "increase considerably" as the investigation continued.


From Belfast Telegraph