THE Policia Nacional have arrested 11 people in the Barcelona area over a €1.6 million fraud against Italian Serie A football club, Florentina.

They sent emails pretending to be a Florentina official who coordinated the receipt of rights payments sent by an ‘unnamed popular’ streaming platform who screened Italian football.

They hacked details of the official and then tricked the person that he was dealing with to deposit payments into their accounts.

Police said that the con branded as ‘man in the middle’ is often very difficult to detect.

The money was distributed by a Spanish company to other enterprises managed by Pakistani nationals.

The cybercriminals laundered the stolen cash via cryptocurrencies and a telecoms provider.

Two transfers totalling €540,000 were made to accounts located in China.

The police probe started in 2018, following a complaint by Florentina.

The club told Italian authorities that they were the victims of a cyber attack, which was eventually proved to have come from Spain.

Arrests took place in February but details were only disclosed on Friday.

One of the ring-leaders died just days before police raids took place with an array of computer equipment seized.

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