The CEO of Sky Global (an encrypted messaging company) was recently indicted of drug trafficking and aiding drug loads in carrying out criminal activities.
This indiction came directly from the U.S. Department of Justice, and warrants were issued for the arrest of Jean-Francois Eap and Thomas Herdman.
Thomas Herdman is a top-level Sky Global’s Device distributor, and he is also charged for violating the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Allegements against Sky Global
Sky Global is an encrypted chat platform that is indicted for using its technology for drug trafficking and other criminal purposes. They generated millions of dollars by providing drug traffickers with a safe gateway of communication to facilitate international drug trafficking activities under the hood. Sky Global anonymously helped them to hide all the activity from law enforcement units.
Attorney Randy Grossman further expanded on this criminal act and said that “This investigation is a serious message to all the criminals who think they can facilitate criminal acts without letting anyone know.”
Sold Encrypted Devices
SkyGlobal is a big manufacturer of encrypted communication devices. They intentionally helped criminals by supplying these devices to drug loads and traffickers who used them for communication purposes to distribute narcotics.
These devices facilitated criminals in encrypted communications, which were not easily traceable, and it made it simple for drug traffickers to transport narcotics without any disturbance. The cryptocurrency medium, especially bitcoin, was used for all the transactions; all the evidence and records of these activities were automatically destroyed from the devices.
Law Enforcement Actions against the company
This is marked as an organized crime with the involvement of OCGs (large-scale organized crime groups). The Law Enforcement units have already started operations to cut off these crimes by starting “Operation Argus” and “Operation A-Limit.”
The law enforcement agencies from France, Belgium, and the Netherlands have merged together to get to the root of this organized crime. They are taking strict action against the platform, and they are disrupting all criminal links associated with Sky Global.
The authorities made a successful attempt to break into the encryption system of Sky ECC. They got access to over a half-billion messages by decrypting the chats. These messages allowed authorities to get some valuable insights about the criminals from their communication.
All these gathered insights were used to raid over 275 people, and around 91 suspects were arrested recently. The law enforcement units also seized over 17 tonnes of cocaine along with €1.2 million.
Both the Belgian Federal Police & Dutch National Police collaborated on this criminal investigation. All decrypted messages were carefully observed and read by authorities for about three weeks. This helped the Police to forestall a series of planned criminal attempts such as liquidations, shootings, and kidnappings.
The Surge in Sky ECC Popularity
Another huge communication network Encorochat was involved in similar activities, and it was uncovered and seized in July 2020 by a collaboration of Dutch and French investigators. Many uncaught criminals shifted to the Sky ECC network to continue their unlawful acts after the takedown of Encorochat.
Both Encorochat and Sky Global used to engineer Google Pixels, Apple’s iPhone and Android devices to alter their OS-level protections and hardware to make it encrypted and difficult to trace by industries.
These altered devices had many features that enabled users to stay anonymous with the help of encrypted chat applications. They also supported self-destructing chats along with other suspicious features such as disabling microphone, camera, Bluetooth, NFC, Biometrics, and GPS.
Sky ECC Denies Allegements
Sky Global denied the statement that “platform of choice for criminals.” Sky ECC tried to provide assurance that none of the devices have been hacked and all authorized devices are secured by our encryption.
They further added that an imposter seller named SKYECC.EU used their name to modify their devices in an unlawful way to alter the actual security features of devices. According to Sky Global, these devices were sold by an unauthorized seller to drug traffickers and criminals.
Sky EEC’s Website Seized
Due to all the indictions on Sky ECC CEO and other executives, the company shut down all their communication channels along with their website. The official domain has now been seized by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and it will not be continued until or unless Sky Global confronts all the allegations. As of now, all proves are against the company, and further investigations are being made.