Pakistan arrests cyber criminals wanted by FBI, Interpol

A Department of Homeland Security worker listening to US President Barack Obama talk at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Centre (NCCIC) in Arlington, Virginia, on Jan 13, 2015. Two men wanted for cyber crimes by Interpol
A Department of Homeland Security worker listening to US President Barack Obama talk at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Centre (NCCIC) in Arlington, Virginia, on Jan 13, 2015. Two men wanted for cyber crimes by Interpol and the FBI for defrauding several companies and individuals of over US$50 million were arrested by Pakistani officials on Saturday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistani officials on Saturday arrested two men wanted for cyber crimes by Interpol and the FBI for defrauding several companies and individuals of over US$50 million (S$62.52 million).

Mir Mazhar Jabbar, a senior official with Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency, told AFP his team had arrested Noor Aziz and Farhan Arshad from the northern part Karachi, the country's largest city and commerical hub.

"They were on the most wanted list of the FBI and we have successfully arrested them," Jabbar told AFP.

The FIA team also arrested three others who are all part of the same extended family, Jabbar said.

The FBI on its website said that Arshad and Uddin were wanted for their alleged involvement in an international communication scheme and hacking venture that defrauded individuals, telecom companies and government entities in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

They cost their targets more than US$50 million.

Arshad and Uddin gained access to business telephones systems and used the systems to place long distance telephone calls to premium rate numbers as part of a scheme known as international revenue share fraud, according to the US agency.

"Arshad and Uddin are part of an international criminal ring that the FBI believes extends into Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia and other locations," the FBI said in late 2013.

The FBI - which had the pair on their "cyber most wanted" list - had also offered a reward of up to US$50,000 each for information that led to their arrest.