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ANOM: Global crime sting leads to hundreds of arrests

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Over 800 suspected criminals have been arrested worldwide following a global crime sting using the FBI-encrypted messaging app, ANOM.

A joint investigation by Australia and the FBI saw devices with the ANOM app secretly distributed among criminals, which allowed the police to monitor and track messages about activity such as drug smuggling, money laundering and murder plots.

Alongside the arrests, drugs, weapons, luxury vehicles and cash were also seized in the operation, which was conducted across more than a dozen countries. This included eight tons of cocaine, 250 guns and more than $48m (£34m) in various worldwide currencies and cryptocurrencies.

The devices encrypted by ANOM were initially used by senior crime figures, which also gave other alleged criminals the confidence to use them.

It is believed that some 12,000 encrypted devices were used by around 300 criminal syndicates in more than 100 countries.

Statements from law enforcement agencies have not named any of those who were arrested in the sting.

The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) has said that it has carried out multiple operations as a result of the ANOM sting, codenamed ‘Operation Trojan Shield’. The NCA have not revealed any details regarding the estimated number of ANOM users in the UK.

An NCA spokesperson said: “The NCA has conducted multiple operations targeting organised crime groups involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

“This operation has demonstrated that, in the face of the rapidly evolving threat from criminals exploiting the fast expansion of technology, the NCA is committed to working across international borders to target organised criminals, wherever they are and however they communicate.”

Concerned about the ANOM sting? Get advice from expert criminal defence solicitors

A skilled and knowledgeable solicitor can make all the difference between a conviction and acquittal.

At Conspiracy Solicitor, we specialise in complex and serious criminal law cases. Our team has a strong track record of achieving positive outcomes for our clients, helping to provide the best possible chance of the charges against you being dropped, or achieving a not guilty verdict at court.

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For confidential advice, give us a call on 0333 009 5969 or 0845 305 4176.

For urgent out of hours police station advice, call 07711 627048.

How our criminal defence solicitors can help you

If you have been arrested or charged with an offence related to the ANOM sting or Operation Trojan Shield, such as drug smuggling or conspiracy to murder, our criminal defence solicitors can help.

Our team includes qualified police station representatives and duty solicitors. We provide advice, support and strong representation at all stages of the investigation process, whether you are being held at the police station, you have been released on bail, you are under investigation or you are facing a court trial.

In these cases, it is vital that you are able to completely trust your lawyers. If you have already instructed solicitors and you believe that you are not getting the results you need, we are able to help you transfer to us so that you receive the highest quality legal advice.

Some of our previous successful cases include:

  • Operation Glamorgan – the defendants were accused of conspiring to supply cocaine over a long period. Our client was the only defendant out of 14 who was acquitted.
  • Operation Faber - our client was accused of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (heroin). With our assistance, he was found not guilty at trial.
  • Operation Bivan – our client, along with 3 other defendants, was charged with dealing over £1 million in drugs through an organised crime gang. Of the 4 defendants, our client was the only one found not guilty.
  • R v M & A - our clients were 2 individuals accused of the commercial production of cannabis. Thanks to our robust arguments, the case was thrown out by the judge and our clients’ names cleared.

Get fast, specialist criminal defence advice today

Give us a call on 0333 009 5969 or 0845 305 4176, email us at, or fill in our online enquiry form for a quick response.

For urgent police station advice, call us now on 0845 305 4176 or Out of Hours 07711 627048.

Conspiracy Solicitor is a trading style of Bird and Co Solicitors LLP. Our firm are members of the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation scheme and we are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).