On Tuesday, there were Reports that a massive international sting involving 16 countries, including the United States, has netted more than 800 suspects, the seizure of 8 tons of cocaine and more than $48 million.
According to Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, the FBI and Australian law enforcement developed and operated an encrypted device company, called ANOM, that was then used to gain access to organized crime networks in more than 100 countries.
Calvin Shivers, the assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division in a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, said that operation Trojan Shield is a shining example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement partners from around the world work together and develop state of the art investigative tools to detect, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations.
ANOM’s users believed the devices to be secure. Access to the communications of those involved in criminal networks meant that law enforcement agencies were able to read encrypted messages over the course of 18 months.
U.S. authorities said that in addition to the cocaine, the operation netted 22 tons of marijuana, 2 tons of methamphetamines and amphetamines and 250 firearms.
Southern District of California Randy Grossman told reporters in San Diego that the worldwide implications of the investigations are staggering.
A police source said that the platform’s users communicated in 45 languages about trafficking and drugs, arms and explosives, armed robberies, contract killings and more.
Australian Federal Police Commander Jennifer Hurst said that nearly three years ago the Australian Federal Police began developing the technology that allowed law enforcement to access and read messages sent on a platform covertly run by the FBI,
She said that the captured data has given the AFP evidence and unique insights into how organized crime works in Australia and internationally — how they move drugs, money, guns and organize murder.