The British police carried out the largest operation in history, detaining “iconic” criminal figures. The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the hacking of the EncroChat application, which offered a secure instant messaging service on a mobile phone and was used by criminals to coordinate their activities, resulted in nearly 750 arrests nationwide.
“Together we defended the public by arresting middle-level criminals and thieves, the so-called cult untouchables, who have been evading law enforcement for years, and now we have evidence to prosecute them,” said Nikki Holland, director of the agency, Reuters reports.
The NCA reports that since 2016, it has been working with international partners to hack EncroChat, a special encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals.
Two months ago, French and Dutch investigators hacked into a platform that had 60,000 users worldwide and about 10,000 in the United Kingdom and shared data through Europol, which allowed authorities to track messages and movements of criminals.
EncroChat, which is currently blocked, advised users to throw away their phones on June 13 after they realized that it was hacked.
However, the British police made 746 arrests, confiscated 54 million pounds ($ 67 million) in cash, seized 77 firearms, and more than two tons of drugs.