A coalition of 16 different countries has busted open an international crime ring.
In a massive, coordinated operation conducted by law enforcement agencies all over the world, a international crime scene has been successfully tracked down and busted, leading to the arrest of over 800 suspects, and the seizure of 8 tons of cocaine and over $48 million.
The lynchpin of this operation was ANOM, a encrypted device company co-created by the FBI and Australian law enforcement. Originally developed by the Australian Federal Police, ANOM masqueraded as a covert, untraceable communications network. When criminal enterprises received word of uncrackable means of communication, many jumped on board, not realizing that all of their communications were being monitored by the FBI. According to Europol, ANOM managed to successfully proliferate among over 100 different organized crime operations around the world. According to Jannine van den Berg of the Dutch National Police, ANOM intercepted movements about trafficking and drugs, arms and explosives, armed robberies, contract killings, and more in over 45 different languages.
“The captured data has given the AFP evidence and unique insights into how organized crime works in Australia and internationally — how they move drugs, money, guns and organize murders,” Australian Federal Police Commander Jennifer Hurst said.
“Operation Trojan Shield is a shining example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement partners from around the world work together and develop state of the art investigative tools to detect, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations,” said Calvin Shivers, the assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
Both the scale and widespread international cooperation of this sting make it one of the largest international law enforcement operations in history. “Being able to mount an operation where all those differences and nuances in legislation and regarding intelligence collection, that requires a sizable amount of coordination and requires a lot of effort by the authorities to make sure the information is not leaked out,” said Keith Ditcham, a senior research fellow in organized crime and policing at the London-based RUSI think tank.