Belgium: Around 28 tons of cocaine seized after police acquire encrypted network


Belgium Federal Police informed about the seizure of 27.64 tons of cocaine with a street value of 1.4 billion euros ($1.65 billion).
The police seized cocaine from the port of Antwerp which also includes a record shipment of around 11 tons cocaine.

Police stated that specialists intercepted encrypted messages on an encrypted messaging service called Sky ECC, which disclosed information about cocaine shipments. The statement reads, “During a judicial investigation into a potential service criminal organization suspected of knowingly providing encrypted telephones to the criminal environment, police specialists managed to crack the encrypted messages from Sky ECC.”

The statement also mentions that the accessed data not only provides with information in ongoing cases and majorly covers international smuggling of cocaine but also shed light on new criminal offences.

Previously, French and Dutch law agencies too infiltrated a platform called EncroChat and shared the data via Europol helping police in accessing private information (photos, messages, etc) of criminals. UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that EncroChat was a ‘criminal marketplace’ with almost 60,000 users who coordinated for distribution of illicit goods, money laundering and conspiracy to kill rivals.

Monitoring of EncroChat led to NCA making 746 arrests, seizing 54million euros in cash, 77 firearms and two tons of drugs during Operation Venetic. Dutch police’s investigation, codenamed Lemont, led to 60 arrests, seizure of 25 tons of drugs,
dozens of automatic weapons, 25million euros, 25 cars and dismantling of 19 synthetic drug labs.