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27 tons of cocaine seized in Port of Antwerp as police read along with drug-traffickers

Customs intercepted over 27 tons of cocaine in the port of Antwerp in recent weeks as a result of the Sky ECC investigation.  Belgian detectives managed to read along with seasoned criminals using the encrypted messaging system operated using phones supplied by the Canadian American Sky ECC company.

In all the illegal drugs have a street value of 1,382 billion euros.  A record catch was made on 2 April when 11 tons of the white powder were seized. 9,842 separate parcels were recovered hidden among a shipment of blue leather.

The investigation started in 2016 after it became clear gangsters were using cryptophones using encryption software supplied by Sky ECC. Police gained access to a million messages.  200 premises were raided in March and 48 people were detained including lawyers, drugs investigators and members of the Antwerp police and prosecution services.

The messages shed light on international cocaine trafficking through the port of Antwerp.  Scores of shipments have been intercepted since 20 February. 

Antwerp prosecutors say the investigation is still ongoing.

Rob Engelaar

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