Police have taken down a cyber gang accused of industrial-scale fraud in a series of raids worldwide - including one in Bromley.

In total, 37 suspects were arrested worldwide, including at both Manchester and Luton airports, as well as in Essex and Bromley.

More than 70 addresses were searched both in the UK and across the world.

The arrests were made as part of an international operation tackling large-scale online fraud, carried out by the gang's site 'LabHost'.

News Shopper: The 'LabHost' site was successfully dismantled as part of the operationThe 'LabHost' site was successfully dismantled as part of the operation (Image: Metropolitan Police)

Established in 2021, the website allowed criminals to defraud hundreds of thousands of victims globally, including nearly 70,000 in the UK.

The site allowed criminals to create "phishing" sites to trick victims into disclosing personal details, such as email addresses, passwords, and bank details.

Dame Lynne Owens, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, said: "You are more likely to be a victim of fraud than any other crime.

"Online fraudsters think they can act with impunity.

"They believe they can hide behind digital identities and platforms such as LabHost and have absolute confidence these sites are impenetrable by policing."

The joint operation involved the Met Police, National Crime Agency, City of London Police, Europol, Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs), and other international police forces.

The LabHost website and its linked fraudulent sites were successfully disrupted and dismantled as part of the crackdown.

As of Thursday, April 18, up to 25,000 victims in the UK have been informed their data has been compromised.

The Met is providing personalised support and advice to those affected.

Adrian Searle, Director of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) in the NCA, said: "Fraud is a terrible crime that impacts victims both financially and psychologically, undermining our collective trust in others and the online services on which we all rely."

"Together with cyber crime, it makes up around 50% of all crime in England and Wales.

"Recognising the scale and nature of the threat, law enforcement are working evermore closely together, both here and overseas, to target the fraudsters and the technology they are exploiting."

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The takedown of LabHost follows previous successful operations, including the Met's 'Operation Elaborate' in November 2022, where more than 130 suspects were arrested.

Dame Lynne Owens said: "This operation and others over the last year show how law enforcement worldwide can, and will, come together with one another and private sector partners to dismantle international fraud networks at source.

"Our approach is to be more precise and targeted with a clear focus on those enabling online fraud to be carried out on an international scale."