Romanian hackers behind $30m Australian credit card theft

Romanian hackers behind $30m Australian credit card theft

Romanian hackers behind $30m Australian credit card theft

Updated 29 November 2012, 10:15 AEDT

Police say they have cracked an international syndicate accused of the biggest theft of credit card data in Australian history.

An international wrestling champion nicknamed 'The Carpathian Bear' was among 16 people detained as police busted a Romanian syndicate accused of the biggest theft of credit card data in Australian history.

The Australian Federal Police say computer hackers in Romania got access to 100 small retail outlets in Australia.

They allegedly stole the details of about 30,000 Australian cards and used the information to buy goods worth more than $30 million.

The joint operation by the AFP and Romanian National Police saw 200 police raid 36 properties across Romania this week.

Police detained 16 people, including international martial arts and Greco-Roman wrestling champ Gheorghe 'The Carpathian Bear' Ignat, before arresting seven.

Ignat, who was not among those arrested, allegedly travelled to Australia in recent years.

The AFP says agencies in 13 other countries were involved in the 18-month investigation.

Police say the details of up to 500,000 Australians were vulnerable to the gang.

Australian banks and credit unions have reimbursed the losses.