Australia claims to nab over 200 underworld gangs members
EUROPE

Australia claims to nab over 200 underworld gangs members

Criminals arrested from 18 countries as part of Operation Ironside

News Service AA

The Australian police on Tuesday claimed to have charged over 200 mafia and underworld gang members in the nation's largest-ever crime sting.

The criminals were arrested from 18 countries including United States, UK, Germany and New Zealand as part of Operation Ironside.

As part of a three-year collaboration between the Australian Federal Police and US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), underworld figures were tricked into communicating via an encrypted app designed by police.

The organized crime gang around the world was using AN0M for planning executions, mass drug importations and money laundering, which the authorities were monitoring.

The operation led to the arrest of 224 offenders on 526 charges in every mainland Australian state. As much as 104 firearms as well as almost A$45 million ($34.9 million) in cash were also seized.

As part of the global operation, more than 9,000 officers from law enforcement were deployed to the international efforts.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the operation "struck a heavy blow against organized crime – not just in this country, but one that will echo around organized crime around the world."

Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw thanked the FBI for its cooperation, along with the countries that worked with them to maintain the integrity of the platform.

"Today, Australia is a much safer country because of the extraordinary outcome under Operation Ironside,'' he said.


*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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