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Police arrest 178 in global credit card scam

European and US authorities have arrested 178 people in connection with a global credit card scam worth over 20 million euros.

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In this July 27, 2007, file photo, signs for American Express, Master Card and Visa credit cards are shown on a New York store's door. Police have arrested 178 in Europe and the US in connection with a global credit card scam.

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

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Police have arrested 178 people in Europe and the United States suspected of cloning credit cards in an international scam worth over 20 million euros, Spanish police said on Tuesday.

Police in fourteen countries participated a two-year investigation, initiated in Spain where police have discovered 120,000 stolen credit card numbers and 5,000 cloned cards, arrested 76 people and dismantled six cloning labs.

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The raids were made primarily in Romania, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and the United States, with arrests also made in Australia, Sweden, Greece, Finland and Hungary.

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The detainees are also suspected of armed robbery, blackmail, sexual exploitation and money-laundering, the police said.

(Reporting by Itziar Reinlein; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Matthew Jones)