A 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the brutal double murder of French students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, Scotland Yard said.

The friends, both 23, were bound, gagged and stabbed to death in a bedsit in New Cross, south London on Sunday night.

The Metropolitan Police said the man was arrested and is in custody at a police station in south-east London.

The bodies of Bonomo, from Velaux, near Marseille, and Ferez, from Prouzel, were found after firefighters attended a blaze at their ground-floor flat.

A pathologist documented 243 separate injuries to the badly-burned bodies, with Bonomo suffering 80 wounds after he died.

Police last night said the men might have died for the sake of two handheld games consoles.

Detectives said two Sony PSP consoles were stolen from Bonomo's rented flat in Sterling Gardens.

Officers are also hunting a black Packard Bell laptop taken in a burglary six days earlier, while Bonomo was in the shower.

Ferez, who lived in South Norwood, had traveled to spend the evening at his friend's flat, where they were playing computer games.

Det Chief Insp Mick Duthie, leading the investigation, said: "The more we find out about them (the victims) the more we find they were good, honest, hardworking young men; very intelligent, never caused anybody any problems, they were well liked and come from respectable families.

"This is just a tragedy."