Home / World / Nearly 28 tons of cocaine seized after police access to encrypted networks

Nearly 28 tons of cocaine seized after police access to encrypted networks

In the six weeks since Feb. 20, police seized 27.64 tons of cocaine at the Port of Antwerp, as well as nearly 11 tons of shipping overnight from April 2-3, Belgian federal police said in a statement on Monday.

Police experts have access to encrypted messages from an encrypted messaging service called Sky ECC, which reveals detailed information on cocaine transportation.

“During a court investigation into a potential criminal organization suspected of deliberately providing encrypted phones to the criminal environment, police experts were able to decrypt encrypted messages from Sky ECC,” read a statement.

“This information provides elements in the current file. But it also opens up new possibilities for criminal offenses. The international batch of cocaine smuggling plays a key role in wiretapping reports.

The cocaine seized so far has a road value of 1[ads1].4 billion euros ($ 1.65 billion), police said.

Police said the investigation was continuing.

This isn’t the first time law enforcement has infiltrated the crypto platform used by criminals.

Last year, authorities in France and the Netherlands infiltrated a platform called EncroChat and shared information through Europol, allowing police to monitor private communications, which included millions of photos and messages of criminals.

Hundreds of people were arrested after police infiltrated a secret criminal's phone network.

EncroChat, a secure mobile instant messaging service, is a The “criminal market” is used by 60,000 people worldwide to coordinate illegal distribution, money laundering and planning to kill competitors, according to the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

In July, NCA said it made 746 arrests and seized 54 million pounds ($ 68 million) in cash, 77 firearms and more than 2 tons of drugs during Operation Venetic, Britain’s biggest operation.

Police in the Netherlands said they made 60 arrests during the investigation, codenamed “Lemont”, and seized 25 tons of drugs, 20 million euros ($ 23 million), dozens of automatic weapons, 25 cars and costly watches. expensive

At a press conference with European law enforcement at the time, Dutch police said 19 synthetic drug laboratories had been dismantled.

The EncroChat cell phone costs around £ 1,500 (US $ 1,870) for a six-month contract and comes with a preloaded app for instant messaging, call capabilities, and a kill code to allow for periodic cleanup. Far away

CNN’s Emma Reynolds contributed to this report.

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