In an unprecedented large-scale covert operation, the FBI, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies from eighteen countries, has detained more than 800 suspected members of organized crime gangs and nine law enforcement officers who had connections to these mafias. The North American agency established its own encrypted telephony platform to attract criminals in Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East. To do this, he created the encrypted messaging application An0m, which he managed to sell to criminal networks.
Previously, the federal agency managed to close two encryption programs for criminal communications over the Internet. Canada-based Phantom Secure was shut down in 2018 for providing custom encrypted devices and Sky Global, from the same country, was banned for engaging in criminal activity.
With no rivals in the industry, the FBI An0m program attracted hundreds of users from the world of crime by concentrating their communications, which eventually ended up with a hidden copy in the hands of the agency. At the end of the operation this Monday, more than 27 million messages sent from 12,000 devices and in 45 different languages had been intercepted.
The operation allowed the seizure of 148 million dollars, cryptocurrencies and large amounts of drugs
This made it possible to intercept numerous drug shipments, including a cocaine delivery from Ecuador to Spain that was traveling hidden in refrigerated tuna containers. The international raid also allowed the seizure of $ 148 million in cash, cryptocurrencies, weapons and luxury vehicles.
The route used was the distribution through an Australian criminal of phones containing the encrypted and encrypted application. Communications were made to be believed to be secure because the terminals had been customized to eliminate all common services, including voice and camera functions.
At a press conference in The Hague, Calvin Shivers of the FBI’s criminal investigation division pointed out that the agency infiltrated 300 criminal groups in more than 100 countries.