Code crackers help French police intercept 42kg of heroin

CODE crackers help French police intercept 42kg of heroin as National Gendarmerie decipher encrypted telecommunications making it possible to get hold of this large quantity of heroin bought in the Netherlands.

This is “nearly 10 per cent of the heroin seized in France since the beginning of the year”, according to the public prosecutor of Thionville, Brice Partouche. Some 42 kg of heroin were seized from the home of a 32-year-old man in Hayange, once the flagship of the French steel industry, in the Moselle department.

The man, who was selling hard drugs in France that were bought in the Netherlands, was arrested, charged and imprisoned. In addition to heroin, 4 kg of cocaine, 17 kg of products for cutting drugs, €115,000 in cash, 4 vehicles and an automatic gun were also seized at his home, some 20 km from the Luxembourg border.

This operation, carried out by the Thionville research brigade and the Metz research section, was made possible by the “cracking of codes by the national gendarmerie” of the Dutch encrypted telecommunications application EncroChat.

The authorities have thus been able to “take note of the content of this message”, which since June 2020 has led to waves of arrests “in a very large number of cases” under the aegis of the Lille Interregional Specialised Jurisdiction (JIRS).

In September, an operation carried out in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Hungary and Slovakia following the interception of communications on EncroChat had already led to the arrest of 17 people involved in a criminal drug trafficking network.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at