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.
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