European police arrested 42 suspects and seized guns, drugs and millions in cash, after cracking another encrypted online messaging service used by criminals, Dutch law enforcement said Friday.
Police launched raids on 79 premises in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands following an investigation that started back in September 2020 and led to the shutting down of the covert Exclu Messenger service.
Exclu is just the latest encrypted online chat service to be unlocked by law enforcement. In 2021 investigators broke into Sky ECC — another “secure” app used by criminal gangs.
After police and prosecutors got into the Exclu secret communications system, they were able to read the messages passed between criminals for five months before the raids, said Dutch police.
The police raids uncovered at least two drugs labs, one cocaine-processing facility, several kilogrammes of drugs, four million euros ($4.3 million) in cash, luxury goods and guns, Dutch police said.
Used by around 3,000 people, including around 750 Dutch speakers, Exclu was installed on smartphones with a licence to operate costing 800 euros for six months.
This goes to show again – don’t do your own encyrption!
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