The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation says it has smashed a global Internet credit card fraud ring.
The FBI's New York office calls it the biggest such operation in history, lasting more than two years and involving undercover law enforcement agents in 13 countries.
Officials said Tuesday the operation protected 400,000 people from falling victim to credit card fraud, saving them more than $205 million in purchases using stolen information.
Twenty-four suspects were arrested — 11 in the United States while police arrested 13 others in Britain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Norway.
The FBI says the suspects allegedly ran a global criminal organization involved in carding, in which thousands of credit card and bank account numbers are stolen and exchanged to buy goods and services.
Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for Manhattan, in New York City, says the arrests show that clever computer criminals working behind the the supposed anonymity of the Internet are still subject to the long arm of the law.