Australian Federal Police Bust: Inside the ANoM Operation

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Pictured: one man accused of participating in the syndicate sits on his bed after being raided by AFP officers

Source: Golden Age of Gaia | By Steve Beckow

June 8, 2021

Inside the ANoM Operation

The takedown happening at present does not include only the New World Order, but also the drug trade/criminal underworld.  Thanks to Suzi.

Inside the ‘AN0M’ bust: How fake encrypted app sting saw 4,000 cops sweep through the underworld arresting more than 100 and seizing a trove of 3.77 tonnes of drugs, $45 million in cash, guns and GODFATHER memorabilia

By Alana Mazzoni and Daniel Piotrowsk and Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia, 8 June 2021

(https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9661943/Huge-AFP-bust-sees-bikies-criminals-gangsters-arrested-Australia-wide-raids.html)

  • Huge AFP bust has seen 4,000 cops storm Australia’s underworld overnight
  • In the nation’s biggest ever police bust, 224 people have been arrested
  • Cops used world-leading tech to bust criminals’ encrypted message systems
  • But Mail can reveal mission was almost compromised by a tech geek blogger
  • Ninja Warrior star Sopiea Kong was arrested after 154g of meth was seized
  • Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin was charged with possession of cannabis
  • Former Bandito bikie Benjamin Joseph Thornton was arrested and denied bail
  • Police charged 224 alleged offenders and shut down six clandestine laboratories
  • Do you know more? Emails tips@dailymail.com

Australia’s biggest ever police bust has seen not only seen the arrests of the Who’s Who of the global criminal underworld, but yielded an extraordinary haul of 3.77 tonnes of drugs, $45 million in cash, guns, luxury cars, motorbikes and watches.

The country’s Federal Police released pictures of the wealth, firepower and even taste in gangster movies of those arrested during sweeping raids across the country, the U.S., Britain and wider Europe after the alleged criminals were covertly monitored for three years using an encrypted communication app called ‘AN0M’.

They allegedly used the app, secretly developed by the FBI, to message each other around the world, unaware everything they said and did was being intercepted by FBI special agents and the Australian Federal Police.

The app gained currency in the underworld after being promoted by drug kingpins  such as Australia’s most wanted man, Hakan Ayik, after first being distributed by police informants.

Through the covert operation, detectives allegedly uncovered 21 murder plots, gun distribution and mass drug trafficking, with mafia bosses, bikies, and reality TV stars arrested and charged.

A luxury Ducati motorcycle, Audi sedan, Rolex watches, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, firearms and even memorabilia from the 1972 cult classic The Godfather was seized from a number of properties.

Senior investigators allege ‘100 per cent’ of telephone conversations intercepted on the devices were all business and in relation to criminal activity.

But the Daily Mail can reveal the entire elaborate sting was placed in jeopardy in late March, when an anonymous blogger sounded the alarm, labelling the platform a ‘scam’ which rerouted peoples’ data through to the United States.

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia's most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world's criminal underworld

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld

Among the items seized by the AFP was memorabilia from the 1972 cult classic The Godfather

Among the items seized by the AFP was memorabilia from the 1972 cult classic The Godfather

>Australia's biggest ever police bust has seen 3.77 tonnes of drugs, $45 million in cash, guns, luxury cars, motorcycles and watches pictured) seized

Australia’s biggest ever police bust has seen 3.77 tonnes of drugs, $45 million in cash, guns, luxury cars, motorcycles and watches pictured) seized

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth

An anonymous tech geek posted a blog in March, titled 'AN0M ENCRYPTED SCAM EXPOSED', placing the mission into jeopardy

An anonymous tech geek posted a blog in March, titled ‘AN0M ENCRYPTED SCAM EXPOSED’, placing the mission into jeopardy

Blogger 'canyouguess67' posted a chilling warning to users of the AN0M app on March 29, warning people: 'STAY AWAY .... IF YOU VALUE YOUR PRIVACY & SAFETY'

Blogger ‘canyouguess67’ posted a chilling warning to users of the AN0M app on March 29, warning people: ‘STAY AWAY …. IF YOU VALUE YOUR PRIVACY & SAFETY’

An anonymous blogger known only as ‘canyouguess67’ posted an article warning users to keep off ANOM for their ‘own safety’, Daily Mail Australia can reveal.

‘STAY AWAY FROM ANOM IF YOU VALUE YOUR PRIVACY AND SAFETY,’ the blogger wrote in an article, which has since been pulled down.

‘THEY ARE COMPROMISED, LIARS AND YOUR DATA IS RUNNING VIA USA’. The hacker added that law enforcement agencies had been tipped off.

However, it seems few alleged criminals in the sights of law enforcement did a cursory Google search into the ‘encrypted’ phone and app platform.

The Australian Federal Police announced on Tuesday that it had seized 3.7 tonnes of drugs, 104 weapons and almost $45million in cash as part of the operation – which was three years in the making.

The alleged offenders are linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia – known as the Ndrangheta – as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian crime syndicates and Albanian organised crime figures.

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a ‘heavy blow’ against organised crime.

‘The operation puts Australia at the forefront of the fight against criminals who peddle in human misery and ultimately, it will keep our communities and Australians safe,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘Illicit drug use ruins lives and fuels organised crime.’

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said federal agents had been in the ‘back pockets’ of criminals through the encryption app.

‘The FBI had the lead on this. We provided the technical capability to decrypt those messages,’ he said.

‘Some of the best ideas come over a couple of beers.’

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth.

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill

Pictured: one man accused of participating in the syndicate sits on his bed after being raided by AFP officers

Pictured: one man accused of participating in the syndicate sits on his bed after being raided by AFP officers

A luxury Audi sedan seized by the AFP as part of their joint investigation with the U.S. FBI

A luxury Audi sedan seized by the AFP as part of their joint investigation with the U.S. FBI

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia's most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world's criminal underworld. Pictured: one man being arrested by AFP officers

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld. Pictured: one man being arrested by AFP officers

A tradie is seen kneeling with his hands tied behind his back after being arrested following raids

A tradie is seen kneeling with his hands tied behind his back after being arrested following raids

A luxury Ducati motorcycle was among the hundreds of items seized by AFP officers during raids as part of Operation Ironside

A luxury Ducati motorcycle was among the hundreds of items seized by AFP officers during raids as part of Operation IronsideKong, who was also allegedly in possession of $2,030 cash and a revolver, was granted bail and will appear in court on June 28.

Former Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin, who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles’ season of the dating show, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis after police stopped a van in Byron Bay last month.

Former Bandito bikie Benjamin Joseph Thornton, 31, was arrested after police seized two mobile phones and a small quantity of cocaine. He was denied bail and will reappear in court next week.

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld.

Drug kingpin and Comancheros bikie associate Hakan Ayik has spent the last decade on the run from Australian authorities after fleeing the country in 2010.

Now living in Turkey, he was tricked into distributing messages to his criminal associates around the world via encrypted communications app AN0M, unaware it was being run by FBI special agents.

Three years ago, Australia Federal Police identified Ayik as a key influencer to successfully distribute the encrypted AN0M devices due to his high status in the criminal underworld.

REVEALED: The truth about AN0M, secret FBI spy app used by the Australian Federal Police

On its glitzy website, the ‘ANoM’ phone looks like any new tech innovation with sleek black lines, ‘invite only’ exclusivity and a pledge to ‘enforce your right to privacy’.

But its best feature – and for most of its users, the worst – wasn’t promoted in its marketing material.

The phone, which supposedly allowed encrypted communications safe from the eyes of the law, was actually a cunning trap laid for a who’s who of organised crime. 

The Australian Federal Police on Tuesday revealed a breathtaking three-year tech ploy which led to 4,000 police executing 525 search warrants.

'Enforce your right to privacy': This is how the ANoM website advertised its product - with users not realising that law enforcement officials could read each and every message

‘Enforce your right to privacy’: This is how the ANoM website advertised its product – with users not realising that law enforcement officials could read each and every message

Senior bikies and mafia figures were tricked into buying hi-tech phones that would supposedly let them messages one another, free of police snooping.

But the ANoM phones were actually designed by the FBI and allowed Australian police to read the texts of organised crime figures.  

Police watched in real time as alleged crooks spilled their secrets to one another on their own app.

Some 21 execution plots were foiled and drug and gun smuggling networks dismantled. 

Some 224 people have been arrested, $44,934,457 in cash seized, as well as 104 weapons, 3.7 tonnes of drugs and multi-million dollar assets.

Alleged crooks even paid six-monthly subscription fees to the police – the money only further reinforcing law enforcement methods.

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five. Pictured: weapons seized by detectives

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five. Pictured: weapons seized by detectives

Australia's world-first Assistance and Access Act passed in 2018 allows intelligence agencies to require tech companies to hand over encrypted messages. Pictured: ammunition seized by police

Australia’s world-first Assistance and Access Act passed in 2018 allows intelligence agencies to require tech companies to hand over encrypted messages. Pictured: ammunition seized by police

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a 'heavy blow' against criminals

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a ‘heavy blow’ against criminals

Hakan Ayik (pictured) gave police extensive access to the world's criminal underworld through encrypted communications app AN0M

Hakan Ayik (pictured) gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld through encrypted communications app AN0M

They sat back and secretly intercepted millions of messages sent as unsuspecting associates openly stated their plans including plots to kill, importing drugs and identifying those who could help them with their criminal enterprises.

Senior investigators describe Ayik as the ‘principal distributor of the AN0M handset.’ who didn’t just distribute the devices among associates but also profited from the sales.

‘It’s like having The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) sponsoring your gym. This is a high-value criminal sponsoring a criminal communications system,’ Australian Federal Police Superintendent Jared Taggart told News Corp papers.

‘It’s just pure revenue, it’s a bit like selling Amway for him. His good name goes behind it, he gets some … fees, there’s a cut from the selling of the handsets.’

‘He’s (Ayik) essentially leveraged his position of trust in the underworld to push this platform and that’s what generated its success. His associates would readily take his word for it,’ an AFP investigator added.

Then known as Joseph Hakan Ayik, the Sydney bikie associate and gym junkie fled Australia in 2010 to avoid arrest over a $230 million heroin importation.

Ayik, subbed one of the world’s most prolific drug-smuggling masterminds, was later detained in Cyprus but then escaped and fled to Turkey, where he has created a new life.

He invested his proceeds of crime in hotel and resort developments while living a lavish lifestyle that extended to flashy cars and private yachts.

His Dutch wife, hair transplant business owner Fleur Messelink publicly flaunted the couple’s elaborate lifestyle on Instagram until this week.

How did the AN0M scam work?

Users could buy phone handsets costing between $1,500 and $2,500 from what has been described as underground distributors. 

The phones were stripped down – they couldn’t even make calls, access the internet or send emails.

What did do was send encrypted messages, photos and videos, using a foreign SIM card to apparently avoid Australian data snooping laws. 

Crooks could buy a six month subscription to use the app – the funds raised unknowingly redirected to the police.

The app was invitation-only as of Tuesday morning - before the page was sensationally taken down and replaced with a warning by the FBI

The app was invitation-only as of Tuesday morning – before the page was sensationally taken down and replaced with a warning by the FBI

Anom's Twitter account claimed the company was based in the famously neutral nation of Switzerland

Anom’s Twitter account claimed the company was based in the famously neutral nation of Switzerland

The app was accessed by entering a PIN number into the phone’s calculator, the stuff of spy dramas.

ANoM’s website, which was only deleted about 10am on Tuesday, made the technology sound bulletproof.   

The company was apparently based in famously neutral Switzerland and boasted of ‘military grade encrypt and sanitise’.

For its encryption, it claimed to use ‘OMEMO Double Ratchet Algorithm … independently audited by Dutch security research group Radically Open Security’.  

That may have been an in-joke – as all the supposedly self-destructing messages sent on the app was radically open to the Australian Federal Police to read.

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