800 arrested across 18 countries in high-tech global organized crime sting

More than 800 people have been arrested in 18 countries in a global organized crime sting organized by the FBI and agencies, authorities said on Tuesday.

“Operation Trojan Shield is a shining example of what can be accomplished when international 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, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, at a press conference, The Associated Press reported.

The operation began after authorities were able to infiltrate an encrypted platform called ANOM and convinced criminals that it was a safe app for communication.

The FBI was reportedly able to give phones to more than 300 criminal gangs in more than 100 countries in the past year and a half, contributing to the arrests. 

“We have been in the back pockets of organized crime. … All they talk about is drugs, violence, hits on each other, innocent people who are going to be murdered,” Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said, Reuters reported.

Approximately $148 million in cash and cryptocurrencies, 250 firearms, 55 luxury cars and 32 tons of drugs were also seized, the AP noted.

In Europe, 75 people were arrested in Sweden, more than 60 in Germany and 49 in the Netherlands, according to Reuters.

“The success of Operation Trojan Shield is a result of tremendous innovation, dedication and unprecedented international collaboration,” Shivers said. “And the results are staggering.”

There were also “numerous high-level public corruption cases in several countries” from the sting as many groups were being tipped off about police whereabouts, an FBI official said in an affidavit.

Tags FBI Organized crime

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