Hartlepool businessman arrested as part of nationwide cyber crime probe

ARRESTED: Michael Hughes
ARRESTED: Michael Hughes

A BUSINESSMAN has been arrested after as part of a major nationwide investigation into cyber crime.

Michael Hughes, 23, from Hutton Henry, near Hartlepool, was quizzed as part of a probe into so-called ‘copycat’ websites - which imitate official online government sites, offering services such as booking driving tests and renewing passports.

Jamie Wyatt, 23, from Blyth, Northumberland and Stephen Oliver, 43, from West Boldon, South Tyneside, who have run a string of websites with Hughes, were also arrested as part of the operation in the same week.

A total of five arrests were made across England after search warrants were executed at four addresses as part of the investigation, which trading standards officers say could disrupt the operation of at least 25 copycat websites.

The operation was carried out with police support by National Trading Standards’ eCrime team.