Inside the FBI cell phone scheme that took down gangs across the globe

Inside the FBI cell phone scheme that took down gangs across the globe


A “couple of beers” between US and Australian law enforcement officials morphed into a sprawling, sophisticated international criminal underworld takedown that thwarted dozens of murders, netted a mountain of drugs and led to more than 800 arrests, authorities said.

The operation dubbed “Trojan Shield” in the US duped criminals across the globe into buying cellphones that had pre-loaded FBI software on them — and exposed Asian Triad gangs, Middle Eastern organized crime outfits, Latin American drug cartels and even biker crews to police investigators.

It has netted some 8 tons of cocaine, 2 tons of amphetamine, 55 luxury cars, 250 guns and more than 20 tons of marijuana and hash after raids in countries across the globe, Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, deputy director of operations at Europol, said at a press conference in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

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The dragnet, which was hatched by US and Australian law enforcement authorities, employed at least 9,000 law enforcement officials across the

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