The success of the Venetic operation was ensured by the fact that the police managed to crack the secret chat in which the criminals communicated. The joint operation lasted for four years, coordinated by Europol.
The BBC website writes about the operation, citing reports from the security forces of the three countries, which were published simultaneously.
Most of the participants in the international criminal community were arrested in the UK - 746 people. In the Netherlands, more than a hundred suspects were detained, and the French secret services did not report the exact number of those arrested, but told about hundreds of suspects involved in crimes. Among them, police officers were in all three countries, but there were no high-ranking officials among them.
In the UK, more than 500 security forces took part in the Venetic operation. Packs of money worth 54 million pounds in cash, more than two tons of drugs, most of which were cocaine, 77 trunks, including Kalashnikovs, and 55 premium cars were seized from detainees.
The Dutch intelligence services reported the seizure of 20 million euros in cash, eight tons of cocaine and even more tons of methamphetamines. France promised to talk about the outcome of the operation later, citing the fact that it has not yet been completed.
It is reported that detainees will be charged with murders, drug trafficking, robbery and street attacks.
The criminal network was uncovered after police experts were able to hack the EncroChat mobile application, created by a completely legal Dutch company. The messenger was positioned as absolutely protected from any external influences and was available for smartphones based on Android and for Blackberry phones. At the same time, it was simply impossible to download the messenger - the development company itself installed the application on new phones and sold them. To start EncroChat, it was required to double-click the power button of the device and after rebooting the system access to the application was opened. Using a messenger cost the user one and a half thousand euros for six months.
According to UK police, EncroChat was used by more than 60 thousand people, 10 thousand of whom were British users. 90% of these people are involved in criminal activity, according to the French police.
The UK National Crime Agency believes the app was used for money laundering and illegal trade. The company itself until the last moment did not know that the police were monitoring its customers. And only on June 13, users of EncroChat received warnings from the company's management about the hacking of the messenger, after which, according to British intelligence, the suspects began to write each other messages: “We are finished” and “It seems that we have big problems”.