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EncroChat Investigation: Organized Crime Whatsapp

widthIf international drug crime is a legitimate business, then it will happen in the trade and logistics sectors. The most important tool for managers: communication. He must contact the manufacturer to negotiate prices and delivery terms.He must organize transportation and coordinate service providers along the way, for example cocaine In a container in South America, and other people smuggling it from European ports went unnoticed. Then continue to negotiate with the courier and the customer. Last but not least, the money earned in this way must be laundered so that managers can use it to buy expensive things.

Since the international drug trade is illegal, such exchanges must be conducted in secret. This way the police cannot eavesdrop or intercept them. Drug dealers used to meet in person at important meetings. But subsequent technological developments provided them with a tool to make their work easier: encrypted phones, that is, modified phones that they can use to communicate in encrypted form. One of the largest such service providers in Europe is called EncroChat.

More than 2,250 preliminary investigations initiated

In recent years, German investigators have also encountered EncroChat mobile phones many times. The information exchanged by the suspects about this matter is still concealed from them. Therefore, in many cases, the people behind the scenes, the managers who match up in the drug industry, have never approached their illegal products themselves.

However, in early 2020, French and Dutch investigators managed to infiltrate Roubaix’s EncroChat server. They can intercept and decrypt all messages sent through it. Facts have proved that the service is used almost exclusively by criminal suspects-in many European countries.French authorities have reported chat records related to Germany to French authorities Federal Criminal Police Service More. In March 2020, the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office (ZIT) Central Office for Combating Cybercrime initiated an investigation of unidentified persons. BKA established a special organizational structure (BAO) because of other habits there, especially after terrorist attacks. Within a few months, they received hundreds of thousands of chat records through Europol. Until the authorities closed EncroChat in July 2020, and arrested hundreds of suspects in an operation across Europe.

Weapons seized in the 2015 raid

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Organized crime

“I’m drunk, brother, need blood”
Picture: Picture Alliance

Since then, the Federal Criminal Police Service has not commented on EncroChat’s investigation-until Tuesday. Investigators have now submitted an initial balance sheet with ZIT, which contains impressive figures: According to declassified information, more than 2,250 investigation procedures have been initiated in Germany. Almost all of these involve organized drug crimes and related crimes such as arms trafficking, corruption, money laundering and violence. Christian Hoppe, head of BKA BAO, talked about the “largest and most complex” litigation process in Germany against drug crimes. In terms of quantity, that is, in terms of the number of suspects, it can be compared with some programs on the dark web for illegal markets. But the quality is significantly higher, Hoppe said. “This is not one gram, about ten grams. This is about tons.”

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