[bbc] Nine people have been arrested over a global scam to use fraudulently bought mobiles to call premium phone numbers.
City of London Police seized iPhones, mobiles, sim and bank cards and passports in raids in London, Southend, Walsall, Birmingham and Middlesbrough.
The gang set up premium lines based overseas and used sim cards from the iPhones and other devices to call them, leaving providers to settle huge bills.
Phone company O2 called in the police after losing £1.2m in July alone.
Police unravelled the scam following a month-long investigation after O2 noticed "massive bills". As the premium numbers were based overseas O2 was bound to settle the bill before approaching their customers for payment.
The gang was also suspected of setting up front companies to launder the profits from the premium phone numbers, police said.
Nine arrests in iPhone premium rate number scam