A Murcia man has been arrested for running an international SIM card cloning gang that stole at least €400,000 from online bank accounts.

The Policia Nacional say that at least 41 crimes have been committed including one account holder in Murcia being cleared out of €93,000.

Six men, including the leader, and two women were detained in the police operation, with six of the individuals being Moroccans and the other two Spanish.

Account holders across Spain were targeted including Las Palmas, Ciudad Real, Granada, Cadiz, Marbella, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Albacete, Madrid, Tenerife, Valladolid, Cuenca, and Alicante,

The gang used a cyber attack known as ‘SIM swapping’ where duplicate cards were obtained using the identities of victims whose details they obtained through ‘phishing’ and social media sites.

The hijacked accounts were emptied out to buy items online or to transfer money to Spanish or international bank accounts.

The leader of the group trying to hide his identity from the police by using other gang members to make the purchases or to get them to do any ATM withdrawals from accounts that got the illegal transfers.

A variety of different addresses were also used to receive online purchases to avoid any suspicion of criminal activity.

The gang leader was remanded into custody after a court appearance.

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