A joint effort from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and several other security operatives have conducted one of the largest and sophisticated law enforcement operations in history.
According to a press statement released by Europol yesterday, the operation saw law enforcement agencies bust 700 houses across 16 countries, recovering over $48 million.
A snippet of the statement read:
A series of large-scale law enforcement actions were executed over the past days across 16 countries resulting in more than 700 house searches, more than 800 arrests and the seizure of over 8 tons of cocaine, 22 tons of cannabis and cannabis resin, 2 tons of synthetic drugs (amphetamine and methamphetamine), 6 tons of synthetic drugs precursors, 250 firearms, 55 luxury vehicles and over $48 million in various worldwide currencies and cryptocurrencies.
In 2019, the FBI and the Australian police collaborated to develop and operate an encrypted device company called ANOM.
The popularity of the device grew, operating in over 100 countries and servicing more than 300 criminal syndicates.
“The goal of the new platform was to target global organised crime, drug trafficking, and money laundering organisations, regardless of where they operated, and offer an encrypted device with features sought by the organised crime networks, such as remote wipe and duress passwords, to persuade criminal networks to pivot to the device” a part of the release contained.
Europol’s Deputy Executive Director Jean-Philippe Lecouffe explained that the operation was successful.
“This operation is an exceptional success by the authorities in the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the other European members of the Operational Task Force. Europol coordinated the international law enforcement community, enriched the information picture and brought criminal intelligence into ongoing operations to target organised crime and drug trafficking organisations, wherever they are and however they choose to communicate. I am very satisfied to see Europol supporting this operation and strengthen law enforcement partnerships by emphasizing the multi-agency aspect of the case.”