Encrypted chat data helps German police arrest 750 in massive drug raid

Encrypted chat data helps German police arrest 750 in massive drug raid
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More than 750 people were arrested in Germany after authorities gained access to data from an encrypted cellphone platform that contained information about illegal drug and weapons trading.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that German officials said they accessed data from users of EncroChat, a European communications service used primarily by criminals, as part of a French investigation that began in April 2020.

Overall, authorities seized 3.2 metric tons of marijuana, about 700 pounds of synthetic drugs, more than 125,500 ecstasy pills, almost 880 pounds of cocaine and 22 pounds of heroin, the AP reported.

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Investigators also took possession of 310 weapons and more than 12,200 rounds of ammunition.

"The French authorities, together with the Dutch authorities, set up a so-called joint investigation team and within this investigation team they managed to decrypt the encrypted data and thus read the communication between the users of the EncroChat mobile phones," Frankfurt prosecutor Julia Bussweiler told the AP.

EncroChat, which had 60,000 users last year, was shut down following the infiltration by investigators, Reuters reported.