One of the largest law enforcement operations against encrypted criminal activities to date has seized millions in crypto and penetrated over 300 criminal syndicates.
According to a press release from The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) on Tuesday, the operation is part of a three-year investigation into criminal rings involving the surveillance of 27 million messages via an encrypted messaging platform.
Since 2019, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in coordination with the Australian Federal Police, developed and covertly operated an encrypted device company called ANOM.
The company eventually grew to service more than 12,000 encrypted devices to over 300 criminal syndicates operating in more than 100 countries, according to the release. Italian organized crime, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and international drug trafficking organizations were also caught up in the operation.
“Very few matters unite law enforcement like bringing to justice those who seek to do our citizens harm,” said Reece Kershaw, Australian Federal Police Commissioner. “The FBI provided an encrypted communications platform while the AFP deployed the technical capability that helped unmask some of the biggest criminals in the world.”