Hundreds Arrested And Tonnes Of Drugs Seized After Cops Break Secure Messaging Network Used By Europe's Top Crime Kingpins

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Hundreds Arrested And Tonnes Of Drugs Seized After Cops Break Secure Messaging Network Used By Europe's Top Crime Kingpins

The breaking of a secure mobile communication system has led to the arrest of hundreds of criminals across Europe, along with the seizure of tonnes of drugs, hundreds of firearms and tens-of-millions in dirty cash gained from the illicit activities of the crime gangs.


The stings across multiple countries were made possible when French police were able to break into EncroChat, a secure mobile-phone tool, that allowed criminals to communicate secretly and organise drug deals, money laundering, and even murder. It is believed criminals paid around $1,500 dollars for EncroChat enabled devices, this allowed encrypted messages to be sent and for those messages to be permanently deleted after a chosen amount of time.


Jannine van den Berg, chief of the Dutch National Police Force, said breaking the system was as if "we were sitting at the table where criminals were chatting among themselves".


Hundreds were arrested after cooperation from British, French, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian police forces, as well as Europol, the continent-wide crime investigation organisation. They are also believed to have stopped murders and kidnappings right before they were supposed to take place.


In the UK 746 were arrested and two tonnes of drugs, 77 firearms and even some hand-grenades were recovered, along with £54 million in cash. In The Netherlands over 100 were arrested and £18 million in cash was seized, along with 8,000kg of cocaine and 1,200kg of methamphetamine.



EncroChat is believed to have 60,000 users worldwide and when the organisers of the system realised in June that the EncroChat system had been infiltrated they sent a message to all users suggesting that they throw all of their devices away.


The London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said in a statement that the raids were the most significant takedown of organised crime she had ever seen in her career, and that:


"This is just the beginning, there are many more people we are investigating. We know who they are and we have seen what they are doing and who they are doing it with. We will not rest until they have seen justice. Organized crime groups have used encrypted communications to enable their offending. They have openly discussed plots to murder, launder money, deal drugs and sell firearms capable of causing atrocious scenes in our communities. They were brazen and thought they were beyond the reach of the law."


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Thinking Humanity: Hundreds Arrested And Tonnes Of Drugs Seized After Cops Break Secure Messaging Network Used By Europe's Top Crime Kingpins
Hundreds Arrested And Tonnes Of Drugs Seized After Cops Break Secure Messaging Network Used By Europe's Top Crime Kingpins
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