Published: 09:47, 12 October 2017 |
Updated: 09:48, 12 October 2017
A cybercrime investigation by specialist officers has led to five arrests.
The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has been investigating the alleged hacking of a Tunbridge Wells company in April.
The hacking resulted in one of its clients paying £25,000 to a third party after receiving a fraudulent email.
Officers believe access was gained to the business' database through malicious software - known as malware - emailed from a Herne Bay internet address, which is also believed to have been hacked.
A number of addresses in London, Essex, and Dorset were raided this morning, and five people were arrested.
A 32-year-old woman from Thamesmead in south east London, was arrested on suspicion of an offence under section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
A 36-year-old woman, a 17-year-old girl, and a 17-year-old boy, all from Grays in Essex, and a 19-year-old woman from Blandford in Dorset, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
Kent detectives from the cybercrime unit are working in partnership with officers who specialise in money laundering offences.
Officers from a similar cybercrime team based at Essex Police were also involved in the warrants.
Detective Inspector Jon Faulkner said: "There has been a noticeable increase in the number of online offences reported to us in the last few years, which has resulted in the creation of the Cybercrime Unit to respond to this growing threat.
"We are committed to identifying and investigating digital offences and will disrupt those responsible by making arrests, seizing equipment and bringing prosecutions, no matter where in the UK they may be."
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