Belgian Police Launch Mass Raids Targetting EU Crime Ring after Cracking Encrypted Messenger App

At least 1,600 Belgian police and law enforcement officials have conducted drug raids after the encrypted mobile phone network used by organized crime gangs was cracked.

The raids were only made possible after the encrypted messaging service Sky ECC was finally decoded by investigators during a two-year investigation.

Sky ECC became widely used by organized crime rings after French and Dutch police compromised the EncroChat encrypted mobile phone service last year.

The police used thousands of messages intercepted from the app as leads for the investigation.

During the raids, 48 were arrested while €1.2 million in cash, as well as 15 illegal firearms, jewelry, diamonds, police uniforms, and luxury cars, were seized.

Belgian chief prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw said that 17 tons of cocaine were seized as well.

Most of the seizures and arrests were reportedly from the Antwerp region.

According to Belgian authorities, it was “one of the biggest operations ever organized on Belgian soil.”

Sky ECC defended that the criminals were using compromised versions of their app and that they “strongly believe that privacy is a fundamental human right.”

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