Hundreds arrested in massive global crime sting using messaging app
More than 800 criminals across the globe have been arrested following an FBI-run campaign involving an encrypted messaging app, according to officials. The operation was conceived by Australia and the FBI to catch criminals engaging in drug smuggling, money laundering, and murder plots. The entities were able to listen in on conversations via the ANOM app that was secretly distributed throughout the criminal networks. Targets of the operation included drug gangs and individuals with links to the mafia. The law enforcement agencies allegedly seized drugs, weapons, luxury vehicles, and cash as part of the takedown, which occurred simultaneously in more than a dozen countries.
Goods seized in the takedown include eight tons of cocaine, 250 guns, and more than $48 million in various currencies and cryptocurrencies. Australian Prime Minister praised the operation, stating that it struck a heavy blow against the organized crime industry across the world. The European Union police force Europol described the operation as one of the biggest ever law enforcement operations against encrypted communication. In total, roughly 9,000 police officers contributed to the operation, which began by spreading the ANOM app via undercover agents.