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#Encrochat Berlin Investigations: Employee of the public prosecutor’s office under suspicion

After lengthy investigations, a suspected drug gang is to be caught. Searches are planned, arrest warrants issued. But then the investigators see the action in danger – because of an employee.

In investigations into a suspected drug gang, an employee of the Berlin public prosecutor’s office was targeted by the investigators.

The woman is in a relationship with one of the suspects, as prosecutor spokesman Sebastian Büchner announced on Friday. There is an initial suspicion that she asked for confidential information and possibly warned her partner. The 24-year-old is said to have dealt in drugs on a large scale and was arrested last Wednesday in Berlin along with four other men during searches.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, proceedings were initiated against his partner on June 10 – five days before the raid – on suspicion of frustration. The public prosecutor’s office was also affected by the searches, it was said. She was found with her partner in Berlin in the shared apartment. Data carriers were secured during the campaign.

These would now have to be evaluated to clarify whether the woman had actually betrayed internals. Obviously, the alleged drug dealers were not warned. In the meantime, the employee no longer has the opportunity to access the authority’s data, said Büchner. The woman is not currently working. “The necessary labor law measures are currently being prepared,” it said. The spokesman did not provide any further information about the employee.

The suspected drug gang was busted last Wednesday. According to the authorities, one and a half kilos of marijuana, weapons, luxury watches and more than 60,000 euros in cash and an expensive car were seized during the search of 21 apartments in Berlin and one in Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt). The 24 to 51-year-old men are suspected of having traded 145 kilograms of marijuana, 137 kilograms of crystal meth, 11 kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of amphetamine from March to June 2020.

The investigators tracked down the alleged gang by evaluating messages from the encrypted chat program Encrochat.

The crypto messenger was initially considered undecryptable and was therefore very common in the criminal scene. The police in France and the Netherlands were able to crack the software in spring 2020. More than 20 million secret chat messages were siphoned off.


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