Surrey Quays bank targeted in 'audacious' cyber plot
Police have arrested 12 men following an audacious attempt to take control of a computer at a bank in Rotherhithe.
The men, aged between 23 and 50, are being questioned over the allegation of conspiracy to steal from Santander, based in the Surrey Quays shopping centre.
The arrests were carried out on Thursday in Richmond and Vauxhall, with raids conducted in central and south-west London.
Police said the response was conducted alongside the banking sector and has prevented multi-million pound losses at the Santander branch.
The scam involved a keyboard video mouse fitted to a computer at the bank, which, when operational, would have transmitted the desktop contents, allowing the suspects to take control of the computer remotely.
Detective Inspector Mark Raymond, of the Police's Central e-Crime Unit, 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.
"I would like to thank our partners from the industry who have provided valuable assistance throughout this investigation.
"The PCeU is committed to tackling cyber-crime and the damage it can cause to individuals, organisations and the wider economy."
A Santander spokesperson said: "The attempt to fit the device to the computer in the Surrey Quays Branch was undertaken by a bogus maintenance engineer pretending to be from a third party. It failed and no money was ever at risk.
"No member of Santander staff was involved in this attempted fraud. We are pleased that we have been able, through the robustness of our systems, to prevent the fraud and help the police gather the evidence they needed to make the arrests."