By Matt Scuffham
LONDON (Reuters) - Twelve men have been arrested over an alleged attempt to take control of Santander UK's computer systems and steal millions of pounds, British police said on Friday.
The men are accused of fitting a device to a computer at a Santander branch in Surrey Quays, London, enabling them to take control of the bank's computers remotely, police said in a statement. The arrests were made by the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit in London on Thursday.
A spokesman for Santander UK said no staff members were involved but could not comment further.
London police said the arrests were the result of a long-term, intelligence-led operation and had been achieved by working in partnership with banks.
"This was a sophisticated plot that could have led to the loss of a very large amount of money from the bank, and is the most significant case of this kind that we have come across," said Detective Inspector Mark Raymond.
The twelve men, aged between 23 and 50 years old, are being held in custody at a London police station.
(Editing by Laura Noonan)