Police arrest 10 over Amazon, Apple card fraud

The Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU) has arrested 10 people in raids across London and the Midlands over online credit card fraud, involving Amazon and Apple music sales.

The arrests come after a parallel investigation with the FBI that began in February. Between September 2008 and January 2009, a UK criminal network provided music using an US online company, which uploaded tracks to Apple iTunes and Amazon.com for sale.

It is believed that the criminal gang managed to earn around $750,000 (456,000) by buying back the music using 1,500 compromised UK and US credit cards. Apple and Amazon then paid out royalties of $300,000 (nearly 200,000) on these sales, and later assisted the ensuing police investigation.

"This has been a complex investigation to establish what we believe to be an international conspiracy to defraud Apple and Amazon," said PCeU detective chief inspector Terry Wilson in a statement.

"This investigation, with its national and international dimension, exemplifies why we have set up this national response to e-crime. It show shows the success that can be achieved through our close relationship with the FBI," he added.

Officers from West Midlands Police assisted Metropolitan Police detectives during the arrests, with a total of 60 UK officers involved.

The PCeU recently made its first arrests, and more information on the unit can be found here.