Operation Trojan Shield, a joint entrapment operation between Australia and the FBI using the AN0M chat app led to the arrests of at least 800 organized crime ring members worldwide.
Operation Trojan shield has been in operation for 18 months and involved 9000 law enforcement personnel.
Organized crime groups in the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, New Zealand, and the US were unaware that the encrypted communications network AN0M was actually used by the FBI to intercept and monitor their illicit transactions.
AN0M’s estimated 9,000 users worldwide were reportedly using it for drug smuggling, money laundering, and even murder plots.
Law enforcement agencies around the world were able to browse over 27 million messages that were sent on AN0M since Operation Trojan Shield started.
Police in sixteen countries reported the arrests of at least 800 suspected members of organized crime gangs and $148 million in cash along with drugs, cryptocurrencies, weapons, and luxury cars.
Among those that were rounded up were Australian-based Italian mafia associates, biker gangs, Asian crime gangs, and Albanian syndicates.
“This operation is the most sophisticated effort to date in disrupting the activities of criminals operating from all four corners of the world,” said Europol.