Greek Police Gain Access to Encrypted Communications Data from Criminal Networks

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The Greek police recently gained access to the complete set of data from two encrypted communications networks, utilized extensively by criminals, after a substantial delay.

The data, which includes 4,500 recorded conversations, 28 million messages, and 250,000 photos, became available to the Hellenic Police around 20 days ago. The networks in question, EncroChat and SkyGlobal, ceased operations in 2020 and 2021 respectively, with EncroChat boasting around 60,000 subscribers at the time of its closure.

European law enforcement agencies have been utilizing this data to crack down on criminal activities. Notably, in 2023, operation "Eureka" resulted in the arrest of 108 suspected members of the Italian crime syndicate Ndrangheta. Europol reported that, thanks to the EncroChat data, there were 6,500 arrests made, over 700 million euros recovered, and more than 100 tons of cocaine seized.

In Greece, the initial search for this data was led by the counternarcotics division of the police, followed by the homicides section. They received support from law enforcement agencies in Austria, Belgium, and France, as well as Europol.

Over the past few years, Greek police officers have visited Europol's headquarters in The Hague to access limited information from the defunct networks, aiding in the arrest of several drug dealers. Recently, they obtained communications related to contract killings by the "Greek Mafia," involving foreign operatives primarily from Montenegro and Serbia.

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