28.10.2021, Berlin: Polizeibeamte stehen vor einem Gebäude in einem Gewerbegebiet in Weißensee. Seit dem frühen Morgen gehen Polizeibeamte gegen die Hells Angels in Berlin und Brandenburg vor. Bei der Razzia sind mehrere hundert Beamte im Einsatz. Nach Behördenangabe geht es um Ermittlungen wegen Drogenhandels und Waffenhandels. Ziel der Durchsuchungen seien Beweismittel wie Datenträger, Handys und Vermögenswerte. Auslöser sind entschlüsselte Daten des Kurznachrichtendienstes Encrochat. Foto: Paul Zinken/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After the decryption of data from the messenger service Encrochat, 14 procedures in Berlin have now been concluded with legal effect, according to judicial information. The perpetrators were each sentenced to several years in prison, said Senator for Justice Lena Kreck (left) in an interview with the “Berliner Morgenpost”. In addition, a total of more than 4.6 million euros in illegally acquired assets were confiscated.

One could say “that the cat-and-mouse game between organized crime and investigators has tilted in favor of law enforcement,” said Kreck.

According to the senator, the Berlin public prosecutor’s office has so far filed 69 charges (as of the end of July). Investigations were still ongoing in 97 cases. Overall, the authority had to evaluate chat messages from hundreds of users.

Encrochat encryption software was used by criminals to conduct illegal business. The service was considered unbreakable because of its complex encryption. However, in the spring of 2020, the police in the Netherlands and France managed to siphon off millions of secret data. This led to numerous arrests in Europe.

At the end of 2020, the EU police authority Europol also managed to decrypt chat messages from another crypto messenger service called Sky ECC. The database is said to be up to four times larger than that of Encrochat.