Operation Ironside Nets Hundreds of Arrests in Joint AFP/FBI Sting


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CANBERRA, Australia – On Tuesday morning, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) released a statement announcing that hundreds of arrests had been made by the FBI in connection to a global organized crime ring they investigated for three years. Labeled Operation Ironside (also referred to as Operation Trojan Shield), the FBI and Australian law enforcement created ANoM, an encrypted app where they were able to access over 100 criminal organizations. The investigation began after the two organizations worked together and took down the platform Phantom Secure, with the AFP providing the technical staff to create ANoM to fill the space left behind. The Washington Post reported over 800 suspects were arrested, as ANoM was in use in over 90 countries. AFP stated that 8 tons of cocaine were seized along with over $44 million. Australia had one of the largest operations uncovered, with 224 people arrested on 525 charges. Reportedly, 22 tons of marijuana were also obtained, as well as 250 firearms and 2 tons of methamphetamines and amphetamines. Authorities also stopped 20 threats, possibly saving several people in the process. FBI Special Agent Suzanne Turner stated that she was shocked at how much users were willing to reveal. “It was...