Criminals worldwide tricked into using FBI-run messaging app

Criminals worldwide tricked into using FBI-run messaging app”

Australian officials said the investigation had "struck a heavy blow against organised crime - not just in this country, but one that will echo around organised crime around the world".

Australian Federal Police Commander Jennifer Hearst called it "a watershed moment in global law enforcement history". "Everything we've been doing has been to keep Australians safe".

Over 4,000 law enforcement officers in Australia were involved, including Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers and state and territory police.

What followed was Operation Ironside, where hundreds of alleged offenders were tricked into communicating via AN0M, an encrypted app designed by police.

While primarily used in drug trafficking and money-laundering, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent quoted in the documents says "high-level public corruption cases (also were ) initiated as a result".

Money seized by Australian Federal Police after Operation Ironside/ Picture released June 8, 2021.

"Operation Trojan Shield is a shining example of what can be accomplished when global law enforcement partners from around the world work together and develop state-of-the-art investigative tools to detect, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organisations", he said at a news conference in The Hague.

According to Kershaw, some of those arrested in Australia were "members of outlaw motorcycle gangs, Australian Mafia, Asian crime syndicates and serious and organized crime groups" who trafficked drugs Down Under "at an industrial scale".

The AFP claims that Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangsters, criminal syndicates in Asia, and criminals associated with organized crime in Albania have been charged on the Operations Ironside.

"All of us have a responsibility in our own relationships and our own families, in our own communities, to be doing what we can to encourage positive behaviours that don't indulge illicit drug use".

"We're behind organized crime ... they're talking only about drugs, violence, beatings against each other, and innocent people who are going to be killed".

"It would be like, 'I need 1,000 kilos at this price.' Very brazen".

More news: Canada’s entertainment industry is losing millions due to the coronavirus pandemic

The messages were brazen and there was no attempt to hide behind any kind of code, he said. Among hundreds of arrests and tons of drugs seized, Australian authorities said they also disrupted 21 murder plots, including a mass killing, thanks to ANOM.

"We were able to see every handset that was handed out and attribute it to individuals", Kershaw said.

In Sweden, information gathered from the operation meant police were "able to arrest a significant number of leading actors within the violent crime and drug networks", according to Linda H. Staaf, head of intelligence for the Swedish Police.

Among them are drug dealers in the UK.

Senior members of the Comancheros in Waikato, Mongrel Mob in Waikato and the Head Hunters were among those arrested.

A total of 525 charges have been laid but authorities expect more in the coming weeks. There were still outstanding arrests to be made, National Organised Crime Group director Detective Superintendent Greg Williams said.

"I can confirm that there are now criminal procedural measures in Germany but also in other countries around the world against people who are suspected of involvement in organised crime", the spokesman, Steve Alter, told reporters in Berlin.

"The FBI will continue to adapt to criminal activity and develop new approaches to bring these criminals to justice", said FBI Anthony Russo.

Drugs, firearms, luxury vehicles and more than $48 million in cash and cryptocurrencies were seized as part of the operation.

In the past three years, NZ Police had found up to 20 organised crime groups that had been carrying out crime across worldwide borders.

What have United Kingdom authorities said?

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