Graphic shows timeline of Operation Trojan Shield.


Global sting began with message service for crooks

By Duncan Mil

June 9, 2021 - When the FBI dismantled an encrypted messaging service called Phantom Secure, based in Vancouver, Canada, in 2018, agents decided on a new tactic: creating their own service.

ANOM, a secure-messaging service built by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, launched in October 2019.

AN0M didn’t take off immediately. But after other secure platforms used by criminals were closed down by police, gangs started looking for a new app, and the FBI’s platform was ready.

Unbeknown to the criminals, the entire network was a sophisticated sting run by the FBI, coordinating with police in 15 other countries.

On Tuesday (June 8), global law enforcement officials revealed the scope of the three-year operation. Operation Trojan Shield had intercepted over 20 million messages in 45 languages and led to the arrest of at least 800 people in more than a dozen countries.

In Australia alone, police arrested 224 people and seized four tonnes of drugs and $35 million in cash.

PUBLISHED: 09/06/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: CBS News via YouTube