Eight people suspected of setting up and running EncroChat arrested in global raids


EIGHT people suspected of being involved in setting up and running the encrypted EncroChat communications system, used by thousands of criminals across the globe have been arrested as part of a global operation.

Three people were arrested in both crime meccas Dubai and Spain in operations that began on Monday, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.

It followed the arrest of a Canadian, thought to have been a key player in EncroChat, and his wife in the Dominican Republic last month.

The operations were led by Europol and French cyber police.

The EncroChat system was being used by 60,000 people across the world, with around 9,000 in the UK.

Up to 90 per cent of users are suspected of involvement in criminal activity, although lawyers, journalists and celebrities were also found using them.

The system which included an emergency erase facility was cracked by French and Dutch investigators in April 2020 before police forces across the globe, mostly in Europe, were given access to live and historic messages for about two months, before the administrators discovered the hack and shut EncroChat down.

Tens of thousands of arrests have been made across the world as a result of the hack, with more than 2,500 in the UK.

While many people have been prosecuted there are ongoing legal challenges about the legality of the live intercept evidence obtained by monitoring messages in real time and over how the hack was achieved.

gendarmes dispatched to the scene to arrest eight people linked to EncroChat, an encrypted messaging system used by drug traffickers around the world.