Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Belgian drug lords hit hard by Sky ECC bust - update

Cops in Belgium have seized almost 28 tons of cocaine with a street value of 1.4 billion euros ($1.65b) after gaining access to the Sky ECC encrypted phone network.
As Sky ECC fell, so too did Belgian crime lords. The Port of Antwerp was their playground. Cracking the encrypted app gave cops access to the six million messages being sent per day between major criminals – not street dealers or thieves. In 200 raids, cops seized 17 tons of cocaine, eight cars, three cash machines, police uniforms, and €1.2m in cash along with guns. 48 were arrested, including a criminal lawyer from Antwerp and a leader of Belgium’s Hell’s Angels.
The prevalence of Sky ECC phones with criminals in Belgium and the Netherlands was huge – one in four active users of the service was in one of the two countries. There were 6,000 subscribers in Belgium and 12,000 in the Netherlands. There were 171,000 active Sky ECC phones worldwide, but only 70,000 of those made monthly calls on the network.