Tech

Police action against criminal krypto network: shock waves in the underworld

The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) was also involved in the international police operation “Operation Trojan Shield / OTF Greenlight” against criminals and their crypto network. Yesterday, Monday, over 150 objects were searched in Germany and more than 70 people were arrested. The focus of the action was in Hesse, announced the BKA.

In total, over 700 objects in 16 countries have been searched and more than 800 people arrested. announced Europol. Police seized over 8 tons of cocaine, 22 tons of cannabis and cannabis resin, 2 tons of synthetic drugs such as amphetamine and methamphetamine, 6 tons of synthetic drug precursors, 250 firearms, 55 luxury vehicles, and over 48 million dollars in various currencies and cryptocurrencies.

The police action became possible after the US FBI – which it calls Trojan Shield – together with the Australian federal police – which it calls OTF Greenlight – founded a company called ANOM for supposedly encrypting communications services. According to the announcement, they managed to smuggle around 12,000 prepared mobile devices into 300 criminal syndicates in over 100 countries, including Italian organized crime, banned motorcycle gangs and international drug trafficking organizations.

The police authorities were accommodated by the fact that the Dutch and French police were able to crack the EncroChat chat system in July. In March, the Sky ECC communications service was also withdrawn. According to Europol, these actions sent “shock waves into the underworld” and provided valuable insights into their structures. In addition, many gangs were looking for an encrypted replacement for their communication, which the FBI and the Australian Federal Police deliberately used for their purposes; some of the users of Sky ECC actually contributed to ANOM.

The FBI and police authorities in 16 countries as well as Europol evaluated 27 million messages received via these mobile devices over 18 months, in which the criminal ANOM users coordinated their activities.

The BKA and the Frankfurt am Main Public Prosecutor’s Office are still evaluating the information provided to them by the FBI. So far, more than 20 preliminary investigations have been initiated against more than 80 suspects in Germany in this complex. In particular, they are suspected of “illegally trading narcotics and weapons using encrypted communication networks (so-called crypto networks) and end devices (so-called crypto cell phones)”, as the BKA puts it (PDF).


(anw)

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