Eleven people were charged in the U.K. after an online banking fraud that affected HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and two other banks, the Metropolitan Police said.
Fifteen men and four women were arrested Sept. 28 in early morning raids on suspicion of hacking thousands of U.K. bank accounts and stealing about 6 million pounds ($9.5 million), the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Eleven people, all identified as being from Eastern Europe, face charges that include conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possession of false or improperly obtained identification, police said in a second statement, Bloomberg reports.
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson, of London's Metropolitan Police, said the amount of money stolen was likely to "increase considerably" as the investigation continues.
Chief Inspector Wilson said: "We believe we have disrupted a highly organised criminal network, which has used sophisticated methods to siphon large amounts of cash from many innocent people's accounts."
He said banks had to repay the stolen money "at considerable cost to the economy."
"Online banking customers must make sure their security systems are up to date and be alert to any unusual or additional security features requested which is at variance with their normal log-on experience," Herald Sun reports.