German police break up suspected online crime ring

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police have raided over 120 apartments and business premises across the country in an investigation into a suspected online crime ring, the BKA federal police said on Wednesday.

The online forum served solely to allow its members to agree on crimes or carry out crimes, Bavaria’s state office of criminal investigation said.

Eleven suspected administrators of the forum are accused of forming a criminal group. Users of the forum are being investigated on suspicion of fraud, computer fraud, receiving stolen data and money laundering as well as illegally trading drugs, medicines and weapons.

Police had secured computers, mobile phones, games consoles and hard drives as well as small quantities of various drugs, various weapons, coins and swipe cards during raids.

Over the course of four months, cyber specialists evaluated more than a million posts and private messages from more than 260 users of the forum, which has since been shut down.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Keith Weir