7 June 2021: Across the globe

More than 800 people were arrested across the globe in a sting operation conducted by joint law enforcement agencies. An0m, an app touted to users as secure with encrypted messaging, was secretly developed and sold to organized crime networks by the FBI, the agency said in a press conference in June. Cash was seized in raids around the world, as well as tonnes of drugs, cryptocurrencies, weapons and luxury cars. All of people arrested were found due to a device that sent information directly into the hands of law enforcement agencies. During a press conference at The Hague, Calvin Shivers of the FBI’s criminal investigative division hailed the “innovative” way the app was able to “bring criminals to justice.” For example, the FBI was able to see photographs of “hundreds of tonnes of cocaine that were concealed in shipments of fruit.” In Belgium, two weeks later, the divers did not have to hunt for the sacks of cocaine for long; they already had the location sent via the app, reports say. There were 49 arrests in the Netherlands, 75 in Sweden and more than 60 in Germany. Authorities there seized hundreds of kilograms of drugs, more than 20 weapons and over 30 vehicles cars and cash. It was “one of the largest and most sophisticated law enforcement operations to date in the fight against encrypted criminal activities,” said Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, deputy director for operations of Europol.