Palma police with the help of the FBI have arrested a 22-year-old Briton who is charged with being the ring-leader of a group of hackers who targetted companies and people in the United States. He was arrested at Palma airport as he prepared to board a flight to Italy.

He is accused of hacking into company accounts and stealing vital information which allegedly allowed the group access to multi-million dollar funds. Palma police said that at one stage he "controlled" Bitcoins to the value of 27 million dollars.

It was the FBI in Los Angeles who first raised the alarm after numerous companies came under attack. They contacted their Spanish colleagues asking for information on the 22-year-old. Spanish police were able to established that he had entered Spain, through Barcelona, at the end of May. Further investigations led to his discovery in Mallorca.

A Los Angeles judge ordered his arrest and this was carried out by Palma police detectives as he prepared for board a flight to Italy. Further investigations are underway both here and in California. The 22-year-old has not been named by police.

At the time of his arrest he had a laptop computer and a mobile telephone which were seized by police officers.