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Tuesday, 04 July 2023 10:32

EncroChat Disruption - What Did the Data Reveal?

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A massive police operation across Europe to disrupt serious crime, much of it being conducted across encrypted phone devices ('EncroChat') has been judged a significant success.

Police investigators managed to intercept, share and analyse over 115 million allegedly criminal conversations by an estimated number of over 60,000 users. 

User hotspots were prevalent in source and destination countries for the trade in illicit drugs and money laundering centres. 

The information obtained by the French and Dutch authorities was shared with their counterparts in EU Member States and third countries, at their request. 

Based on accumulated figures from all authorities involved, this led to the following results, three years after the encryption was broken by law enforcement:

  • 6,558 suspects arrested, amongst whom 197 High-Value Targets 
  • 7,134 years of imprisonment of convicted criminals up to now
  • EUR 739.7 million in cash seized
  • EUR 154.1 million frozen in assets or bank accounts
  • 30.5 million pills of chemical drugs seized
  • 103.5 tonnes of cocaine seized
  • 163.4 tonnes of cannabis seized
  • 3.3 tonnes of heroin seized
  • 971 vehicles seized
  • 271 estates or homes seized
  • 923 weapons seized, as well as 21,750 rounds of ammunition and 68 explosives
  • 83 boats and 40 planes seized

In the UK, we continue to see a significant number of cases progress through the criminal courts, with all significant legal challenges to the admissibility of law enforcement interception techniques so far being rejected. 

Based on the ongoing investigations, we expect many hundreds of additional arrests and prosecutions based on the information that is still being analysed.

All of our lawyers are fully acquainted with the complex legal and technological aspects of these cases and can offer expert guidance in order to achieve the most favourable outcomes for our clients.

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