The CEO of encrypted messaging company Sky Global and an associate was indicted by the US Department of Justice for allegedly aiding criminal enterprises to avoid detection by law enforcement.
Canada based Sky Global which is the developer of an encrypted chat app known as Sky ECC, claims to be the “most secure messaging app available anywhere in the world today.”
Europol announced this week that law enforcement in Belgium and the Netherlands made arrests after illegal activity was detected in the Sky ECC encrypted chat platform.
The authorities were able to monitor the information flow of approximately 70 000 users of Sky ECC. Many users of EncroChat changed over to the popular Sky ECC platform, after EncroChat was unveiled in 2020.
The information obtained by successfully unlocking the encryption of Sky ECC will provide insights into criminal activities in various EU Member States and beyond and will assist in expanding investigations and solving serious and cross-border organized crime for the coming months, possibly years.
The United States Department of Justice announced that they had indicted the CEO of Sky Global, Jean-Francois Eap, and one of his associates, Thomas Herdman, for allegedly violating federal racketeering laws (RICO). Herdman is said to be a former global distributor of Sky Global devices.
As per the indictment, Sky Global’s devices are specifically designed to prevent law enforcement from actively monitoring the communications between members of transnational criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
Sky Global guarantees that messages stored on its devices can and will be remotely deleted by the company if the device is seized by law enforcement or otherwise compromised.
The DoJ states that Sky Global’s generated millions of dollars by operating a secure communications platform to facilitate narcotics distribution worldwide.
According to the indictment, Sky Global’s purpose was to create, maintain, and control a method of secure communication to facilitate the importation, exportation, and distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America, including the United States and Canada; to launder the proceeds of such drug trafficking conduct; and to obstruct investigations of drug trafficking and money laundering organizations by creating, maintaining, and controlling a system whereby Sky Global would remotely delete evidence of such activities.
The indictment further alleges that Sky Global employees used cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, to help their customers launder money.
However, Sky ECC denies any allegation that it is the ‘platform of choice for criminals’.