Global sting operation leads to 800 arrests

Police officers around the world have arrested 800 suspects in a coordinated global sting operation using a secretly-developed communications app.

Organizations including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the EU's law enforcement agency Europol said on Tuesday that the arrests followed raids on 700 locations.

The authorities said a messaging platform secretly developed by the FBI and others was used in the operation.

From gangs to drug traffickers, more than 300 criminal organizations in over 100 countries unknowingly used the app, which allows the exchange of encrypted messages.

Law enforcement officers monitored 27 million messages exchanged on the platform during a period of more than a year.

From the start of this month, officers coordinated raids in 700 locations, resulting in 800 arrests. They also seized more than 30 tons of illegal drugs as well as cash and cryptocurrencies worth more than 48 million dollars.

Officers from over 10 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia and some European nations, took part in the operation, dubbed Trojan Shield.

Europol hailed it as "exceptional by its global outcomes."