Police Bust Extortion Ring at Leumi Card

Eight former employees of credit card company suspected of stealing credit card number database, threatening to sell list to highest bidder unless paid millions of shekels.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Bank Leumi has set aside a provision to settle a U.S. tax probe related to its Swiss unit.
Bank Leumi has set aside a provision to settle a U.S. tax probe related to its Swiss unit.Credit: Bloomberg
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Eight former employees of the Leumi Card credit card company were arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of trying to blackmail Bank Leumi, in one of the most serious incidents of cyber-crime Israel has known.

The eight are suspected of stealing a database from the firm which includes about two million credit card numbers and security codes along with their owners' ID numbers, allowing them to use the numbers for online and telephone transactions.

The suspects then allegedly threatened Leumi Bank they will sell the database to the highest bidder unless they are paid millions of shekels.

The main suspect was arrested in Thailand by the local police force following an investigation by Israel Police's Lahav 433 cyber-crime unit. His seven alleged culprits were arrested in central Israel.

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