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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Dutch National Police (Politie), and the Swedish Police Authority (Polisen), in cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and 16 other countries have carried out with the support of Europol one of the largest and most sophisticated law enforcement operations to date in the fight against encrypted criminal activities.
In the early hours of the morning, over a thousand police officers with the support of Europol carried out coordinated raids against the members of this highly professional criminal syndicate. Some 180 house searches were executed, resulting in the arrest of 45 suspects.
The investigation uncovered that this drug trafficking network was responsible for the annual importation of at least 45 tonnes of cocaine into the main European seaports, with profits exceeding €100 million over the course of 6 months.
This international sting, led by the Portuguese, Belgian and Brazilian authorities, was carried out simultaneously by agencies from three different continents, with coordination efforts facilitated by Europol:
Fifteen people have been arrested in Malta as part of operation Proteus, a highly sophisticated money laundering case, following months of intensive investigations by the Maltese Anti-Money Laundering Section within the Financial Crime Investigations Department.
Carding Action 2020, an operation led by law enforcement agencies from Italy and Hungary and supported by the UK and Europol, targeted fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised card details on websites selling stolen credit card data, known as card shops, and dark web marketplaces.
On 16 October the General Commissariat of Information of the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional – CGI) arrested two individuals for their alleged link to a terrorist organisation and on suspicion of recruiting and indoctrinating for the purpose of jihadist terrorism. During an action day supported by Europol, Spanish police raided the homes of the suspects in the cities of Melilla and Mogán in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Law enforcement seized multiple mobile and electronic devices.
A further increase in sharing of child abuse material online, sexual coercion and extortion of children is expected
(EUROPOL Newsroom) Video calls with friends and family, social media interaction, online games, educational use: during the corona lockdown children’s lives promptly shifted even further from the real world into an online virtual one. Sex offenders have found in this development a tempting opportunity to access a broader group of potential victims. The report published today by Europol shines a light on the increased sharing of child sexual exploitation images online and how to confront this serious threat to children’s safety.
To confront this threat, law enforcement has also increased its efforts to tackle this severe crime, which sees a child being re-victimised every time an image is shared. →