Birmingham and Wolverhampton arrests after online music fraud probe
Nine people, including some from the West Midlands, have been arrested by police investigating a gang who made hundreds of thousands of pounds buying their own music online with stolen credit cards.
Detectives from the Met's Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU) raided properties in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, London and Kent as part of the operation.
It follows a joint investigation with the FBI that began in February.
It is believed the gang uploaded music to Apple iTunes and Amazon.com for sale between September 2008 and January 2009 and then spent around $750,000 (£459,000) buying the tracks using 1,500 stolen credit cards. Apple and Amazon then paid royalties on the sales totalling $300,000 (£184,000).
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson, from PCeU, said: "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. It shows the success that can be achieved through our close working relationship with the FBI.
"We are now making it more risky for criminals who seek to exploit the internet and commit e-crime across national borders. We are working hard through partnership with industry and law enforcement to combat e-crime and are committed to pursuing those responsible."
Six men and three women were arrested at addresses in London, Birmingham, Kent and Wolverhampton.
All nine are in custody at police stations in London and the Midlands on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.