The Berlin police took action against organized drug trafficking with a major raid. Since early Wednesday morning, police officers have been searching the homes of suspects in several districts, police spokesmen said.

Alleged perpetrators should also be arrested. There was initially no information on this. It is about the suspicion of illegal smuggling of drugs by gangs.

Around 200 uniformed police officers as well as civilian drug investigators and prosecutors were on duty.

The State Criminal Police Office (LKA) tracked down the drug smugglers by evaluating messages from the encrypted chat program Encrochat, which years ago was particularly popular with criminals. The operation continued in the morning, said a spokesman. The “B.Z.” had previously reported on the raid.

The searches began around 6 a.m. – in Neukölln and Schöneberg, among other places. According to dpa information, a luxury sports sedan is said to have been confiscated on Bülowstrasse in Schöneberg and towed away by the police.

The car should be carefully examined and disassembled. The police are said to have arrested suspects there. The “B.Z.” also reported in the morning of arrests during the raid.

The crypto messenger Encrochat was initially considered undecryptable and was therefore very common in the criminal scene. The police in France and the Netherlands were able to crack the software in spring 2020. More than 20 million secret chat messages were siphoned off.

This led to numerous arrests across Europe, many of them in Germany – especially in Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg and Bremen. Mostly drug trafficking. In more than 1,000 cases, suspects are in custody in Germany, it said recently, referring to information from the Federal Criminal Police Office.

In Berlin alone, there are almost 750 users and around 1.6 million chat messages. The Berlin public prosecutor’s office set up a special department to deal with the flood of data. Charges have been filed in around 40 cases so far, and many processes are already underway. More than 100 further investigations with at least one suspect are pending.