Kiwi teen arrested for banking fraud

30 November 2007

A teenager has been arrested by police in New Zealand and is being questioned about his suspected role in a major banking fraud ring.

The 18-year-old, who can not be named for legal reasons, stands accused of leading a group which stole bank and credit card details and using them to help himself to millions of dollars from banks around the world.

According to the Telegraph, a gang of students infiltrated 1.3 million computers using spybot software, stealing around $20 million from bank accounts.

Although the teen, who goes by the online handle of Akill, has not been formally charged, police suspect that the boy wrote computer software which could not be detected by spyware programmes and sold them on to hackers.

Martin Kleintjes, head of New Zealand's police electronic crime centre, said Akill could be charged with possessing computer hacking programmes and having unauthorized access to computers, which could see him spend up to ten years in jail.

Twenty-one-year-old Ryan Goldstein has already been indicted as a suspect in the identity theft ring, but has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in March.

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