Teenager held in £12.5m web fraud raid

Teenager held in £12.5m web fraud raid

Schoolboy accused of infecting a million PCs

Police in New Zealand are questioning an 18 year-old man over allegations that he masterminded a multimillion pound online crime syndicate.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have organised the infection of over a million PCs in Holland with key-logging software that collected bank account details.

Police claim that a staggering £12.5m was siphoned out of victims' accounts.

"We have seized a number of computers and our investigations are focusing on the one seized from the 18 year-old,'' Detective Inspector Peter Devoy said in an interview with Bloomberg.

"It just goes to show that when you step into the cyber-world it knows no boundaries.''

The teenager, who operated under the online name 'Akill', is also accused of infecting 50,000 PCs at a Philadelphia university.

The investigation was coordinated by Dutch police, the FBI and the New Zealand authorities following an 18-month probe by the FBI into the use of viruses in online banking fraud.

The teenager, who is still at school, was described as "very bright and gifted".

"He is a young guy but I think it is an environment that the young understand a lot better,'' said Detective Inspector Devoy.

"This is a relatively new type of crime that will only become more evident as time goes by.''