The law enforcement authorities in Europe had arrested more than 800 individuals across the continent after shutting down an encrypted crime chat network used by organized groups to plot murders and regulate drug trafficking.
European Authorities Arrest Hundreds After Hacking a Crime Chat Network
French and Dutch police informed that they hacked into the EncroChat network so they could gain access to millions of text messages of suspects as they chatted with custom-made devices. In addition to that, the authorities in Britain informed that they had arrested 746 individuals as a result of a planned operation in what it called a “massive breakthrough” against organized crime. Norway, Sweden and Spain are other European countries in which people were arrested.
Wil van Gemert, Deputy Executive Director of the EU police agency Europol, told a press conference in The Hague:
EncroChat delivered a message to its 60,000 users in the month of June notifying them to get rid of their devices as its servers had been “seized illegally by government entities”. Now, it has been shut down. The hack enabled police “an unprecedented look into the heart” of organized crime associations.
Europol and the EU judicial agency Eurojust added in a joint statement that
Police then foiled crimes including violent attacks, corruption, attempted murders, and large-scale drug transports. Certain messages indicated plans to commit imminent violent crimes and triggered immediate action.