Police seize £100,000 every day from gangsters after experts crack ‘Enigma crime code’ that hid their illicit activities
- EncroChat hack led to police seizing £100,000 a day from UK mobsters
- 1,571 suspects have been charged and 383 have been convicted since the hack
- 9,296 kg of class A drugs and 8,938 kg of cannabis were recovered, according to the NCA
- 170 firearms and 3,404 cartridges were also found in the network
Police have been seizing £100,000 a day from British mobsters since cracking their ‘Enigma code’.
As well as raising £76,914,575 over two years, officers made 2,864 arrests, a rate of almost four suspects a day.
Encrochat – a secret phone network used by crime lords around the world – was hacked in 2020 by an elite team of French and Dutch agents.
The UK’s National Crime Agency likened this achievement to Nazi Germany’s breach of the Enigma code and meant officers could eavesdrop on the conversations of mobsters as they plotted executions, kidnappings, drug trafficking and money laundering.
So far, 1,571 suspects have been charged and 383 have been convicted, many of whom have had no choice but to plead guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence.
EncroChat was considered unbreakable until June 13 last year, when a warning was sent to users that its servers had been hacked by a government unit.
Among those arrested were a number of corrupt police and other law enforcement individuals suspected of helping gangs flood Britain’s streets with drugs and weapons. The NCA said yesterday that the infiltration of EncroChat resulted in the recovery of 9,296 kg of Class A drugs and 8,938 kg of cannabis.
Officers also recovered 170 firearms and 3,404 cartridges, including submachine guns and hand grenades.
It is estimated that around 10,000 criminals in the UK have used the EncroChat instant messaging system. Developed in the Netherlands exclusively for the criminal market, it boasted of being the most secure network in the world. It cost £1,500 on a six-month contract and was designed to frustrate police with a self-destruct system and a ‘panic password’ to erase data.
EncroChat was considered unbreakable until June 13 last year, when a warning was sent to users that its servers had been hacked by a government unit. It then emerged that police and law enforcement across Europe were secretly reading millions of instant messages virtually ‘over the shoulders’ of suspects.
Police made 2,864 arrests, nearly four suspects a day thanks to code hack
The court convictions include that of underworld gunsmith Umair Zaheer, 34, who called himself Assassin’s Creed after the violent video game due to his bloody business of selling assault weapons.
Nikki Holland, director of investigations for the NCA, said of the breakthrough: “It was like having one person inside every major organized crime group in the country.” We cracked the Enigma code.