The news came in July of last year. The French police were suspicious when they repeatedly found the same type of phones during raids against dangerous criminals. They managed to hack Encrochat in phones and send shock waves through the organized crime network in Europe with 800 arrests.
Police action halted the murders, kidnapping plans were revealed, drug networks were renewed with seizures of massive amounts of cocaine and 70,000 people who had used Encrochat. Investigations continued and led to trials in Sweden as well. This topic is covered by legal correspondent Martin Untersinger for the French newspaper Le Monde.
The French police investigators were very happy and satisfied to receive a lot of information via Encrochat, says Le Monde journalist. About 60 French officers participated in the operation.
Police were given access to the photosMessages and location information through encrypted phones. The reporter says it was unbelievable, right up without the filters of criminal networks.
The police operation was secret and highly sensitive. The exact details of how the reading of confidential data takes place is confidential. Journalist Martin Untersinger says in Le Monde newspaper that they are protected by the French defense company, much like espionage.
Gendarmes in France are police officers who also have military powers. France was the center of the investigation because the servers were there. The data was agreed to be read and checked by various judges. The police cannot make a decision about it themselves, notes French journalist Vincent Goutroneau in Le Parisien, which also covers the story of Encrochat.
It also confirms the secrecy of the defense. Gautronneau describes reactions in France.
It turned out to the French to be a professional police operation with infiltration and complicated technical work, but it took some time before we saw the effects here in France, he said.
Much has changed in recent months In France, with a flurry of drug trafficking investigations, according to Gutroneau. But results have appeared primarily in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Early on, the French police cooperated with the police in the Netherlands.
A movie from a police operation in the Netherlands shows how a police force stormed a building. Police discovered a kind of torture room with a dental chair in a soundproof enclosure belonging to criminals. There were also various tools and weapons.
Vincent Gautroneau gives another example of what reading led to in Belgium. In November, thanks to information from the French police, the Belgian police managed to seize 11 tons of cocaine in the port of Antwerp, worth several billion euros. Smugglers hit hard, says Le Parisien’s legal correspondent.
The French often show pride in the police force and this type of operation, says Vincent Gautroneau. Another example is the police operation during the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall when police were greeted with applause in the streets.
But now the relationship is more complicated, says Vincent Gutroneau of Le Parisien. During the yellow vest protests accompanied by clashes, there was a greater focus on police violence, he said. There has also been a prolonged tension between police and people in high-risk areas. But he confirms that there is a high degree of confidence in the criminal police and investigators in France.
I In France, it is common for police officers Data interception and phone eavesdropping is used to investigate organized crime. In Sweden, lawyers question the veracity of the evidence and whether it lawfully occurred when Encrochat was read. The European Union’s European Union for Cooperation in Criminal Justice reported on the courts and judicial authorities in use and rejected allegations that the French police did not adhere to the law.
Criticisms similar to Swedish criticism also come from defense lawyers in other European countries. In France, too, even if it’s just a little debate, says legal journalist Martin Untersinger in Le Monde. Lawyers want to know more about how police work and try to nullify evidence.
Since the process is unique, it raises legal questions about whether the police carried out a legal or illegal hacking operation. It will be fun to follow. The reporter says the question is also what consequences other countries’ handling of evidence in France could have.
It could take up to two years before there are trials in France. Vincent Gutroneau of Le Parisien says the elimination here takes a long time.