EncroChat Disruption – how effective has it been?
A massive police operation across Europe to disrupt serious crime, much of it being conducted across encrypted phone devices (‘EncroChat’) has been judged a significant success.
EncroChat was an encrypted communication system, using modified mobile phones. Until it was infiltrated by the French authorities, it allowed safe and secure communication, so was widely used by criminal.
When it closed down in June 2020, it had an estimated 60,000 users, who had been involved in over 115 million allegedly criminal conversations. Many of these conversations took place in countries linked to the drugs trade, and money laundering.
The information obtained by the French and Dutch authorities was shared with their counterparts in EU Member States and third countries, at their request. It was then used by various law enforcement agencies as the basis for numerous criminal prosecutions.
In the three years after the system was cracked, this led to the following results:
· 6,558 suspects arrested, amongst whom 197 High-Value Targets
· 7,134 years of imprisonment of convicted criminals up to now
· EUR 739.7 million in cash seized
· EUR 154.1 million frozen in assets or bank accounts
· 30.5 million pills of chemical drugs seized
· 103.5 tonnes of cocaine seized
· 163.4 tonnes of cannabis seized
· 3.3 tonnes of heroin seized
· 971 vehicles seized
· 271 estates or homes seized
· 923 weapons seized, as well as 21,750 rounds of ammunition and 68 explosives
· 83 boats and 40 planes seized
In the UK, we continue to see a significant number of cases making their way through the criminal courts as a result of Operation Venetic, run by the National Crime Agency. All significant legal challenges to the admissibility of law enforcement interception techniques have so far being rejected.
Based on the ongoing investigations, we expect many hundreds of additional arrests and prosecutions based on the information that is still being analysed.
All of our lawyers are fully acquainted with the complex legal and technological aspects of these cases and can offer expert guidance in order to achieve the most favourable outcomes for our clients.
How can we help?
If you need specialist advice in relation to any criminal investigation or prosecution, from the initial investigation through to court proceedings, please get in touch. Call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help.
Image credit: “Day 5 – Drugs seized” by West Midlands Police is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.