Two officers from Antwerp police were arrested in the series of raids that took place on Tuesday following the authorities’ cracking of encrypted messaging service Sky ECC.
One is a member of the DOT team, or drug support team, and the other is his wife, who also works for Antwerp police, according to reporting from HLN.
“As we knew, this groundbreaking judicial investigation is also mapping ramifications in the upper world. We have always pointed out the danger of criminal undermining of many sensitive sectors,” said Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever. “Of course, security services cannot escape that.”
The 200 home searches conducted on Tuesday with a team of 1,600 officers were part of what is now being called Operation Sky, named for the encrypted messaging app that criminals in the Belgian underworld were using for their illicit business.
The Canadian company behind the app had described its messaging service as “uncrackable,” but Belgian authorities say they’ve cracked it, and after gaining access to the messaging network of the country’s leaders in organised crime, are bringing down the hammer.
During the large-scale searches throughout Belgium, 48 suspects were arrested and €1.2 million and 17 tonnes of cocaine were seized, along with diamonds, jewellery, luxury vehicles, police uniforms and weapons.