Ten people were bailed yesterday to reappear in court to face charges alleging that they had used stolen credit cards in order to defraud iTunes, the online music shop.
The seven men and three women were arrested by the Metropolitan Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCEU) on Wednesday following raids across London and the Midlands.
According to DCI Terry Wilson, from the PCEU,
“This has been a complex investigation to establish what we believe to be an international conspiracy to defraud Apple and Amazon.”
“This investigation, with its national and international dimension, exemplifies why we have set up this national response to e-crime.”
“We are now making it more risky for criminals who seek to exploit the internet and commit e-crime across national borders.”
The arrests came after an investigation that began back in February and which often crossed paths with a similar operation involving the FBI.
A police statement said that between September 2008 and January 2009 a UK criminal network provided music via an online US company which uploaded the tracks to Apple iTunes and Amazon.com for sale.
It is believed that these tracks were then bought and paid for using stolen credit cards, netting around $750,000 of music sales.
As Apple and Amazon were unaware of what was going on at the time they paid out around $300,000 worth of royalties on those sales.