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kingpin told to hand himself in after being tricked into spreading fake phone ANOM app

Australian drug kingpin who was tricked into revealing information about hundreds of organised criminals has been told to hand himself in for his own safety.

Hakan Ayik – who is believed to now be living in Turkey – thought he was helping criminal associates when he suggested they use an encrypted communications app.

What he did not know was that he had been duped by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers and the FBI.

Ayik was given a phone handset with the ANOM app on it by undercover agents, and then recommended the messaging service to other criminal associates.

“He was identified because of his standing within the underworld,” a senior investigator quoted by the Australian Telegraph said.

“He was a primary target as someone who was trusted and was going to be able to successfully distribute this platform.”

However, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw has said this now made him a target.

“Given the threat he faces, he’s best off handing himself into us as soon as he can,” he said.

“He was one of the coordinators of this particular device, so he’s essentially set up his own colleagues.

“The sooner he hands himself in, the better for him and his family.”

A fake encrypted messaging app cooked up over beers by Australian cops and the FBI has led to 800 arrests across the world and the confiscation of £100million ($141.5million USD, $182.66million AUS) in cash, six tons of cocaine, assault rifles, luxury cars, motorcycles and watches.

A huge overnight bust in Australia saw 4,000 officers storm the underworld after gangsters were monitored for 18 months using the app called ‘AN0M,’ which has also been deployed by police in the US and Britain. 

The UK National Crime Agency said it had carried out ‘multiple operations’ as a result of the sting, codenamed Operation Trojan Shield. An NCA spokesman said they had targeted ‘drug trafficking and money laundering’ gangs, without revealing further details of Britain’s use of the AN0M tech. 

The app was secretly developed by the FBI who paid a super grass phone whizz to develop the tech for £70,000 plus expenses – and a reduced prison sentence for drugs smuggling, according to a court affidavit.

The informant was pressed into using his trusted distributors to sell the AN0M tech. With a sleek website which pretended AN0M was based in Switzerland, and charging a subscription fee, crooks were conned into thinking they were safe from the law.

But it was actually a Trojan Horse, re-routing all their secret messages to FBI special agents and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). 

The app was seeded into the underworld by police informants before it was picked up by drug kingpins who unwittingly acted like ‘influencers’ – the jewel in the crown was Australia’s most wanted man, Hakan Ayik, who became the ‘principal distributor,’ giving the app legitimacy to global crime syndicates.

There were more than 12,000 compromised AN0M phones, used by more than 300 crime gangs in over 100 countries, which blind copied – or ‘BCCed’- the police on around 27 million secret messages.

The app infiltrated the Mafia, Asian triad syndicates and biker gangs who trusted in the tech so much they wouldn’t bother with code words and sent pictures of huge consignments of drugs, including one which showed a French diplomatic pouch that was allegedly used to transport cocaine from Colombia. 

FBI chief Calvin Shivers called the results of the global cooperation ‘staggering’. ‘Over the last 18 months the FBI provided over 300 criminal organisations, in over 100 countries, with encrypted devices that allowed us to monitor their communications,’ Shivers told told reporters at Europol’s HQ in The Hague.

‘Not only have we heard about the number of arrests and the number of seizures, but over 100 threats to life that were mitigated,’ added Shivers. 

In Australia alone, more than 200 people have been charged as part of the operation, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison said had ‘struck a heavy blow against organised crime – not just in this country, but one that will echo around organised crime around the world’. 

Australian officers seized McLaren and Lamborghini sports cars, Ducati and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Rolex watches, sniper rifles, bullet-proof vests, ammunition, wads of cash and duffel bags full of drugs, all from intelligence gleaned from the AN0M app.  

A suspect in handcuffs is watched over by a police officer

Pictured: one man accused of participating in the syndicate sits on his bed after being raided by AFP officers

Suspects in handcuffs are watched over by special police forces officers after sweeping raids by the Australian Federal Police last night stunned the world’s criminal gangs

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth

Handguns and packets of ammunition seized in the bust

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong (above) was arrested at her home where police allegedly seized 154g of meth (left), and seized in a separate bust are handguns and packets of ammunition (right)

A McLaren sports car seized by Australian police during raids which swept across the country as part of Operation Ironside. An entry level new McLaren costs more than £135,000

A McLaren sports car seized by Australian police during raids which swept across the country as part of Operation Ironside. An entry level new McLaren costs more than £135,000

Luxury Ducati and Harley Davidson motorcycles are hauled away by police officers after they raided hundreds of suspects last night. A new Ducati costs north of £18,000, while a Harley-Davidson will set you back more than £12,000

Luxury Ducati and Harley Davidson motorcycles are hauled away by police officers after they raided hundreds of suspects last night. A new Ducati costs north of £18,000, while a Harley-Davidson will set you back more than £12,000

A high-powered sniper rifle taken in the sting which saw dozens of weapons, ammunition and bullet-proof vests seized

A high-powered sniper rifle taken in the sting which saw dozens of weapons, ammunition and bullet-proof vests seized 

Ammunition, magazines, bullet proof-vests

Rifles among the haul of weapons seized

Ammunition, magazines, bullet proof-vests (left) and rifles (right) were among the items seized in the massive bust 

A Lamborghini sports car seized by cops in New South Wales as part of the sting launched in Australia and across the world. The cars start from around £180,000 new, rising into the millions for more premium models and specifications

A Lamborghini sports car seized by cops in New South Wales as part of the sting launched in Australia and across the world. The cars start from around £180,000 new, rising into the millions for more premium models and specifications 

Narcotics seized in the sting last night by Australian Federal Police. A total of 3.77 tonnes of drugs were taken off the streets in the raid

Narcotics seized in the sting last night by Australian Federal Police. A total of 3.77 tonnes of drugs were taken off the streets in the raid

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia's most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world's criminal underworld

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld

Aussie police and FBI leads global sting on organised crime gangs

Among the items seized by the AFP was memorabilia from the 1972 cult classic The Godfather

Among the items seized by the AFP was memorabilia from the 1972 cult classic The Godfather 

Australia's biggest ever police bust has seen 3.77 tonnes of drugs, million in cash, guns, luxury cars, motorcycles and watches pictured) seized

Australia’s biggest ever police bust has seen 3.77 tonnes of drugs, $45 million in cash, guns, luxury cars, motorcycles and watches pictured) seized

FBI provided ‘300 encrypted devices’ to criminal orgs

The FBI paid a super grass £70,000 and offered him a reduced prison sentence to help them build the tech. The man, named only as a ‘confidential human source,’ in a court affidavit, had already been creating a hardened encrypted phone with a bespoke app called AN0M. 

The FBI decided it could install its Trojan master key on the devices, enabling them to decrypt and store all the data that passed through them.

In 2018, Australian police investigators and analysts met with the FBI. ‘As you know, some of the best ideas come over a couple of beers,’ said Australian police chief, Reece Kershaw, on Tuesday.Prodded by authorities, the developer-turned-informant tapped his trusted distributors, who targeted the Australian market. They settled on a soft launch in October 2018. The developer gave the distributors only 50 devices to sell. Seeing a ‘huge payday’, they agreed according to the affidavit.

As the AFP monitored the messages and photos shared on the devices, ‘100% of AN0M users in the test phase used AN0M to engage in criminal activity’, the affidavit said. Business grew organically, by word-of-mouth. Soon overseas criminals were flocking to use the AN0M phone.

Law enforcers had ‘an edge’ that they had never had before, said Kershaw. Among hundreds of arrests an tons of drugs seized, Australian authorities said they also disrupted 21 murder plots, including a mass killing, thanks to AN0M.

The FBI and other countries’ law enforcers discovered that Italian organised crime, Asian triads, biker gangs and transnational drug syndicates were all users.

The special agent’s affidavit, and the AFP’s Kershaw, said criminals used the phones openly, often not even using code words and frequently sharing photos of massive drug consignments and details of how they would be transported. 

Federal police give an overview into Operation Ironside

Among the images shared in the affidavit were mounds of blocks of illicit drugs and a diplomatic pouch identified in the court document as French and allegedly used to transport cocaine from Colombia. There was also evidence of corrupt government officials and police.

Crime groups were being ‘notified of anticipated enforcement actions’, the affidavit said.

‘The review of ANOM messages has initiated numerous high-level public corruption cases in several countries.’

Raids targeting users of another encrypted phone, Sky ECC, in March saw ANOM’s popularity surge, with active users growing from 3,000 to 9,000 in months, the affidavit said.

Why did the operation stop? There is no clear rationale given about why the operation stopped now. However a mixture of suspicions, legal hurdles and strategy may have contributed. 

Law enforcement did not have real-time access to phone activity but instead, all sent messages were blind copied or ‘BCCed’ to FBI servers where they were decrypted.

One server was in a third country where the warrant was due to expire on June 7, 2021.

But even ahead of that deadline, suspicions were being raised.

In March, a tech geek named ‘canyouguess67’ blogged that AN0M was a ‘scam’ and that a device he had tested was ‘in constant contact with’ Google servers and relayed data to non-secure servers in Australia and the United States.

‘STAY AWAY FROM ANOM IF YOU VALUE YOUR PRIVACY AND SAFETY,’ the blogger wrote in an article, which has since been pulled down.

‘THEY ARE COMPROMISED, LIARS AND YOUR DATA IS RUNNING VIA USA’. The hacker added that law enforcement agencies had been tipped off. 

‘I was quite concerned to see the amount of IP addresses relating to many corporations within the 5 eyes Governments (Australia, USA, Canada, UK, NZ who share information with one another),’ the post said. 

How the FBI developed a fake encrypted app and charged crooks a subscription fee while snooping on all their secret messages: AN0M spread to 12,000 phones, in over 300 criminal syndicates in more than 100 countries

The AN0M app was developed by the FBI in 2018 and was introduced into the criminal underworld by police informants.

Picked up by high profile kingpins, including the most wanted man in Australia, AN0M proliferated across more than 12,000 devices and was used by more than 300 crime syndicates around the world over the last 18 months.

The app had to be installed on customised phones which were offered to gangsters via underground distributors for between £800 and £1,400.

The stripped down phones couldn’t make calls or send emails, and were fitted with foreign SIM cards which were supposed to dodge domestic snooping laws.

Crooks could buy a six month subscription to use the app – with all proceeds going straight to the police. 

The app was accessed by entering a PIN number into the phone’s calculator, the stuff of spy dramas. Much like other messaging apps, it allowed users to speak by text and share photos and videos.

AN0M’s website, which was only deleted in the early hours of this morning, made the technology sound bulletproof. 

The company purported that it was based in famously neutral Switzerland and boasted of ‘military grade encrypt and sanitise’ technology.

The app was invitation-only as of Tuesday morning - before the page was sensationally taken down and replaced with a warning by the FBI

 

The app was invitation-only as of Tuesday morning – before the page was sensationally taken down and replaced with a warning by the FBI

For its encryption, it claimed to use ‘OMEMO Double Ratchet Algorithm … independently audited by Dutch security research group Radically Open Security’.  

That may have been an in-joke – as all the supposedly self-destructing messages sent on the app was ‘radically open’ for the authorities to read.

The devices were indeed encrypted, but the FBI had the key to unlock the communications.

New Zealand police boss Greg Williams said: ‘It’s much like Whatsapp. That means it should be very, very secure but, of course, it wasn’t. It was totally compromised from the very outset.

He added: ‘The communication point-to-point was totally secure. But the FBI was listening in all along and the keys to unlock it. It’s almost as if the FBI had set up a meeting for criminals to come and discuss things.’ 

Police watched in real time as alleged crooks spilled their secrets to one another on their own app.

Around the world, intelligence gleaned from the app was used in more than 800 arrests and led to the search of more than 700 locations.

A total of 6 tons of cocaine, 5 tons of cannabis, 2 tons of methamphetamine and over £104 million in cash were seized, due to AN0M.

The FBI said that over 100 threats to life were mitigated.

Why did the operation stop? There is no clear rationale given about why the operation stopped now. However a mixture of suspicions, legal hurdles and strategy may have contributed.

Law enforcement did not have truly real-time access to phone activity but instead, all sent messages were blind copied or ‘BCCed’ to FBI servers where they were decrypted.

'Enforce your right to privacy': This is how the ANoM website advertised its product - with users not realising that law enforcement officials could read each and every message

 

‘Enforce your right to privacy’: This is how the ANoM website advertised its product – with users not realising that law enforcement officials could read each and every message

One server was in a third country where the warrant was due to expire on June 7, 2021.

But even ahead of that deadline, suspicions were being raised.

In March ‘canyouguess67’ posted on WordPress that ANOM was a ‘scam’ and that a device he had tested was ‘in constant contact with’ Google servers and relayed data to non-secure servers in Australia and the United States.

‘I was quite concerned to see the amount of IP addresses relating to many corporations within the 5 eyes Governments (Australia, USA, Canada, UK, NZ who share information with one another),’ the post said before it was deleted.

In addition, one stated aim for ‘Operation Trojan Shield’ was to undermine trust in encrypted devices, a goal that could only be widely achieved when the operation was made public.

 

An anonymous tech geek posted a blog in March, titled 'AN0M ENCRYPTED SCAM EXPOSED', placing the mission into jeopardy

An anonymous tech geek posted a blog in March, titled ‘AN0M ENCRYPTED SCAM EXPOSED’, placing the mission into jeopardy

Blogger 'canyouguess67' posted a chilling warning to users of the AN0M app on March 29, warning people: 'STAY AWAY .... IF YOU VALUE YOUR PRIVACY & SAFETY'

Blogger ‘canyouguess67’ posted a chilling warning to users of the AN0M app on March 29, warning people: ‘STAY AWAY …. IF YOU VALUE YOUR PRIVACY & SAFETY’

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill 

A jet ski taken by police officers in the bust which saw 200 suspected gangsters raided by federal officers

 

A Harley-Davidson and a Ducati (right) motorcycle are strapped to the back of a truck to be taken in by police as evidence

A Harley-Davidson and a Ducati (right) motorcycle are strapped to the back of a truck to be taken in by police as evidence 

A high calibre sniper rifle seized by police in New South Wales during the overnight raids

A high calibre sniper rifle seized by police in New South Wales during the overnight raids 

A luxury Audi sedan seized by the AFP as part of their joint investigation with the U.S. FBI

A luxury Audi sedan seized by the AFP as part of their joint investigation with the U.S. FBI

A suspected gangster is detained by Australian police during their massive raid on the criminal underworld

A suspected gangster is detained by Australian police during their massive raid on the criminal underworld

A Ford Mustang seized by officers in the sting which saw luxury cars, bikes and even jet skis taken by the police

A Ford Mustang seized by officers in the sting which saw luxury cars, bikes and even jet skis taken by the police 

Cannabis seized in the raid

Cash is laid out on a table by police

Crates of cannabis and wads of cash seized in the massive drugs bust which saw criminal gangs smashed in Australia, the US and the UK 

A sniper rifle fitted with a bi-pod which was seized last night as part of what Aussie cops dubbed Operation Ironisde

A sniper rifle fitted with a bi-pod which was seized last night as part of what Aussie cops dubbed Operation Ironisde 

In addition, one stated aim for ‘Operation Trojan Shield’ was to undermine trust in encrypted devices, a goal that could only be widely achieved when the operation was made public. 

The alleged offenders are linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia – known as the Ndrangheta – as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian triad syndicates and Albanian organised crime figures.

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five.

Prime Minister Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a ‘heavy blow’ against organised crime. 

‘The operation puts Australia at the forefront of the fight against criminals who peddle in human misery and ultimately, it will keep our communities and Australians safe,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘Illicit drug use ruins lives and fuels organised crime.’

AFP Commissioner Kershaw said federal agents had been in the ‘back pockets’ of criminals through the encryption app.

‘The FBI had the lead on this. We provided the technical capability to decrypt those messages,’ he said.  

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth.

A man being detained by officers in rural Australia. The Australian Federal Police were able to infiltrate the underworld by using a fake encrypted messaging app

A man being detained by officers in rural Australia. The Australian Federal Police were able to infiltrate the underworld by using a fake encrypted messaging app

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia's most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world's criminal underworld. Pictured: one man being arrested by AFP officers is seen with a Breaking Bad poster in the background

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld. Pictured: one man being arrested by AFP officers is seen with a Breaking Bad poster in the background

A leather biker jacket seized in the raid. The massive bust saw some of the country's most notorious biker gangsters, known locally as 'bikies', taken down by the cops

A leather biker jacket seized in the raid. The massive bust saw some of the country’s most notorious biker gangsters, known locally as ‘bikies’, taken down by the cops

A man is led away in cuffs by police in armour vests during the huge raid which saw 200 arrested in Australia alone

A man is led away in cuffs by police in armour vests during the huge raid which saw 200 arrested in Australia alone 

A tradie is seen kneeling with his hands tied behind his back after being arrested following raidsPolice officers in night operations gear prepare for the sting

A suspect kneels with his hands tied behind his back after being arrested following raids (left) and police officers in night operations gear prepare for the sting with crowbars, chainsaws and rifles (right)

A luxury Ducati motorcycle was among the hundreds of items seized by AFP officers during raids as part of Operation Ironside

A luxury Ducati motorcycle was among the hundreds of items seized by AFP officers during raids as part of Operation Ironside 

Kong, who was also allegedly in possession of $2,030 cash and a revolver, was granted bail and will appear in court on June 28.

Former Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin, who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles’ season of the dating show, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis after police stopped a van in Byron Bay last month. 

Former Bandito biker Benjamin Joseph Thornton, 31, was arrested after police seized two mobile phones and a small quantity of cocaine. He was denied bail and will reappear in court next week. 

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld.

Drug kingpin and Comancheros biker associate Hakan Ayik has spent the last decade on the run from Australian authorities after fleeing the country in 2010. 

Now living in Turkey, he was tricked into distributing messages to his criminal associates around the world via encrypted communications app AN0M, unaware it was being run by FBI special agents.

Three years ago, AFP identified Ayik as a key influencer to successfully distribute the encrypted AN0M devices due to his high status in the criminal underworld.

They sat back and secretly intercepted millions of messages sent as unsuspecting associates openly stated their plans including plots to kill, importing drugs and identifying those who could help them with their criminal enterprises.

Senior investigators describe Ayik as the ‘principal distributor of the AN0M handset.’ who didn’t just distribute the devices among associates but also profited from the sales.

‘It’s like having The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) sponsoring your gym. This is a high-value criminal sponsoring a criminal communications system,’ Australian Federal Police Superintendent Jared Taggart told News Corp papers. 

‘It’s just pure revenue, it’s a bit like selling Amway for him. His good name goes behind it, he gets some … fees, there’s a cut from the selling of the handsets.’ 

‘He’s (Ayik) essentially leveraged his position of trust in the underworld to push this platform and that’s what generated its success. His associates would readily take his word for it,’ an AFP investigator added.

Then known as Joseph Hakan Ayik, the Sydney bikie associate and gym junkie fled Australia in 2010 to avoid arrest over a $230 million heroin importation.

Ayik, subbed one of the world’s most prolific drug-smuggling masterminds, was later detained in Cyprus but then escaped and fled to Turkey, where he has created a new life.

Shotguns taken by cops in the raid

A bolt action rifle and a shotgun seized by the police

An arsenal of illicit firearms was seized by the police, including shotguns (left and right) and bolt action rifles (right) 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a 'heavy blow' against criminals

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a ‘heavy blow’ against criminals

A bag filled with bundles of cash

An M16 assault rifle (left) and a bag filled with bundles of cash (right) following the bust 

A police officer displays a magazine filled with rifle ammunition

A police officer displays a magazine filled with rifle ammunition

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five. Pictured: weapons seized by detectives

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five. Pictured: weapons seized by detectives 

He invested his proceeds of crime in hotel and resort developments while living a lavish lifestyle that extended to flashy cars and private yachts.

His Dutch wife, hair transplant business owner Fleur Messelink publicly flaunted the couple’s elaborate lifestyle on Instagram until this week.

Ayik is wanted in several countries, including Australia, where he is listed as one of NSW’s most wanted criminals.

An Interpol red notice has also been for Ayik’s arrest, who remains on the run from authorities.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the alleged syndicate included ‘some of the most dangerous criminals to Australia’.

‘We allege they are members of outlaw motorcycle gangs, Australian Mafia, Asian crime syndicates and serious and organised crime groups,’ he told reporters on Tuesday’We allege they’ve been trafficking illicit drugs into Australia at an industrial scale.

‘Sadly, criminal gangs are targeting Australia because it is one of the most profitable countries in the world to sell drugs, and for three years, this operation has been  overt.’

Mr Kershaw said detectives have arrested the alleged ‘King makers’ behind the alleged crimes, prevented mass shootings in suburbs and ‘frustrated serious and organised crime by seizing their ill-gotten wealth’.

‘And these figures are likely to increase over the coming days. Collectively, these alleged offenders are facing jail terms that could run into hundreds of years and some of the charges they are facing carry life imprisonment,’ he said.

Former Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin, who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles' season of the dating show, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis after police stopped a van in Byron Bay last month

Hakan Ayik has spent the last decade living a lavish lifestyle in Turkey. He's pictured with wife Fleur Messelink on their wedding day

Hakan Ayik has spent the last decade living a lavish lifestyle in Turkey. He’s pictured with wife Fleur Messelink on their wedding da

The app AN0M was installed on mobile phones that were stripped of other capability. The mobile phones, which were bought on the black market, could not make calls or send emails.

It could only send messages to another device that had the organised crime app. Criminals needed to know a criminal to get a device.

The devices organically circulated and grew in popularity among criminals, who were confident of the legitimacy of the app because high-profile organised crime figures vouched for its integrity.

‘These criminal influencers put the AFP in the back pocket of hundreds of alleged offenders,’ Mr Kershaw said.

‘Essentially, they have handcuffed each other by endorsing and trusting AN0M and openly communicating on it – not knowing we were watching the entire time.’

Mr Kershaw said detectives witnessed associates ‘turning on each other’ and doing business behind each other’s backs.

An Interpol red notice has also been for Ayik's arrest, who remains on the run from authorities. Pictured: ammunition seized by authorities

An Interpol red notice has also been for Ayik’s arrest, who remains on the run from authorities. Pictured: ammunition seized by authorities 

Picnic cooler bags are filled with stacks of cash which police in New South Wales seized on intelligence gained from the AN0M app

Picnic cooler bags are filled with stacks of cash which police in New South Wales seized on intelligence gained from the AN0M app

Bin bags filled to the brim with cannabis are photographed by cops following the raid which saw 4,000 officers deployed

Bin bags filled to the brim with cannabis are photographed by cops following the raid which saw 4,000 officers deployed 

A box of cash wrapped up in rubber bands after it was seized by officers in New South Wales

A box of cash wrapped up in rubber bands after it was seized by officers in New South Wales

Cannabis inside a plastic bag after the drugs were taken off the streets in the massive bust

Cannabis inside a plastic bag after the drugs were taken off the streets in the massive bust 

Operation Ironside foiled 21 murder plots and seized more than three tonnes of drugs, .8 million in cash, 72 firearms and 1650 devices with the encrypted app

Operation Ironside foiled 21 murder plots and seized more than three tonnes of drugs, $35.8 million in cash, 72 firearms and 1650 devices with the encrypted app

‘There’s no doubt going to be some tension within the whole system about who owes what drug debt and so on. So that was pretty brazen to see that they were actually disloyal to their own groups,’ he said.

More arrests are expected domestically and offshore under a coordinated global response connected to Operation Ironside.

The AFP is also likely to seek extradition requests of a number of persons of interest living overseas. It comes as there have been tonnes of drugs and hundreds of arrests overseas.

‘I have a message for the criminals targeting Australia and Australia’s interests – the AFP will be relentless,’ Mr Kershaw said.

‘We will outsmart you. We will be a step ahead. Operation Ironside is just the beginning and the AFP is living up to our maximum of keeping Australians safe.’

New Zealand authorities have also arrested 35 people for alleged drug dealing and money laundering, seizing some $NZ3.7 million ($A3.4 million) in assets. 

Only five per cent of encrypted messages sent by criminals in Australia use the Anom platform – but Mr Morrison said suspects will now be living in fear ahead of further sting operations.

Samuel Minkin, 28, appeared in court last week after allegedly being busted by cops

Samuel Minkin, 28, appeared in court last week after allegedly being busted by cops 

The AFP is also likely to seek extradition requests of a number of persons of interest living overseas. It comes as there have been tonnes of drugs and hundreds of arrests overseas. Pictured: items seized by the AFP

The AFP is also likely to seek extradition requests of a number of persons of interest living overseas. It comes as there have been tonnes of drugs and hundreds of arrests overseas. Pictured: items seized by the AFP 

More arrests are expected domestically and offshore under a coordinated global response connected to Operation Ironside. Pictured: one of hundreds of arrests

More arrests are expected domestically and offshore under a coordinated global response connected to Operation Ironside. Pictured: one of hundreds of arrests 

A carbine rifle seized by the police

A carbine rifle seized by the police 

A close up of a Ducati motorcycle seized. A new Ducati in the UK costs north of £18,000

A close up of a Ducati motorcycle seized. A new Ducati in the UK costs north of £18,000 

A blacked-out Audi coupe is loaded onto the back of a truck after being seized by the police

A blacked-out Audi coupe is loaded onto the back of a truck after being seized by the police

‘It is our intention that they are looking over their shoulder,’ he said.

‘We’re bearing down upon them. But you know, this isn’t over. This is a long way from over.’

Australia’s world-first Assistance and Access Act passed in 2018 allows intelligence agencies to require tech companies to hand over encrypted messages.

Mr Morrison said the AFP’s covert mission was ‘seeking to frustrate [the alleged criminals] in every link of the chain’.

‘And it is our intention that they are looking over their shoulder, because our law enforcement agencies and the partnerships we have around the world are bearing down upon them,’ he said.

‘That’s what we’re doing. We’re bearing down upon them. But you know, this isn’t over. This is a long way from over.’

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Written by The Editor

warrior dedicated to the cause of fighting the takeover of our culture.

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