Twelve people have been arrested over an alleged plot to steal millions from high street bank Santander.
The men, aged between 23 and 50, were arrested after police found a device called a KVM (keyboard video mouse) fitted to a PC in the Surrey Quays shopping centre branch. The device, which is designed to download data from the compromised desktop over a network, had been fitted by a phoney maintenance engineer. Staff at the branch are not thought to be involved in the plot.
The arrests came after a long-term intelligence-led operation by the Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU), which worked in partnership with banks.
It is unclear whether any money was taken from the bank, but police claim that it could have cost the bank millions if the plot went unnoticed.
Detective inspector Mark Raymond, of Scotland Yard's PCeU, said: "This was a sophisticated plot that could have led to the loss of a very large amount of money from the bank, and is the most significant case of this kind that we have come across."
Addresses in Hounslow, Brent, Hillingdon, Westminster, Richmond and Slough were searched, and those arrested are being held in custody at a London police station.