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Police foil cyber robbery

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2005-03-17



A man in Israel has been arrested after an attempt to rob £220m electronically from the London offices of a Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui.

According to a report in the Financial Times, police in London have been working closely with Israeli police to track down the man following an investigation that started last October by the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

The Financial Times also reported that the plan was to transfer the money to 10 bank accounts around the world.

Computer hackers gained access to Sumitomo Mitsui's computer system and began to track all buttons being pressed on its computer keyboards which would enable them to discover passwords and other information.

The arrest of the man in Israel was made after an attempt to transfer £13.9m into his Israeli business bank account. The man has now been charged with money laundering and deception. Police say they are investigating others.

A spokesman for Sumitomo Mitsui said the bank had not suffered any damage or loss.