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European police arrest 42 people after cracking secret app

European police arrested 42 suspects, seized guns, drugs and millions of dollars in cash after cracking another encrypted online messaging service used by criminals, Dutch law enforcement says The agency made the announcement on Friday.

Police launched raids at 79 premises in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands following an investigation that began in September 2020, leading to the shutdown of the covert Exclu Messenger service.

Exclu is a modern encrypted online chat service unlocked by law enforcement. In 2021, investigators broke into his Sky ECC. This is another “safe” app used by criminal gangs.

Dutch police say police and prosecutors were able to read messages exchanged between criminals five months before the raid after breaking into the Exclu secret communication system.

“Arrested persons include not only users of the app, but also its owners and administrators,” their statement added.

Police from France, Italy and Sweden were involved in the investigation, as well as Europol and its twin judicial body, Eurojust.

Police raids uncovered at least two drug laboratories, a cocaine processing facility, several kilograms of drugs, €4 million ($4.3 million) in cash, luxury items and guns, according to Dutch police.

Used by about 3,000 people, including about 750 Dutch speakers, Exclu was installed on smartphones and licensed to operate for €800 for six months.

“Exclu allows us to exchange messages, photos, notes, voice memos, chats and videos with other users,” said the Dutch police.

Police added that the online service “has been praised by its owners and managers for its high level of security.”

A previous Sky ECC investigation provided investigators with a large number of messages sent between covert drug-smuggling gangs.

By breaking that encrypted system, police were able to intercept drug trafficking and make numerous arrests.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/european-police-arrest-42-after-cracking-covert-app-510620/ European police arrest 42 people after cracking secret app

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