Saturday, February 24, 2024

One of the key leaders of EncroChat extradited to France with the support of Eurojust

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Diplomat Magazine
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

One of the main key leaders of the company behind the encrypted communication tool EncroChat has been extradited to France from the Dominican Republic with the active support of Eurojust. The person involved was arrested in the Dominican Republic in May 2022 and has been under house arrest since then.

An international arrest warrant was issued against the suspect in July 2021. He was extradited to France last week at the request of the Public Prosecutor of Lille.

This dismantling was coordinated and supported by Eurojust and Europol and sent shockwaves through organised crime. Between 2020 and 2023, over 6 500 suspects were arrested and at least EUR 900 million in assets were seized, with investigations still ongoing. Eurojust supported a joint investigation team into the case from 2020.

In an update on the EncroChat investigations, in June 2023, the Public Prosecutor of Lille already announced that potential suspects who were living outside the European Union could be extradited. The French Desk at Eurojust supported the PPO of Lille in contacting the Dominican authorities to arrange the formal extradition to France. 

The extradited defendant is suspected, among other things, of participating in a criminal conspiracy to illegally import and acquire illicit drugs, and aiding and abetting their illegal possession, supply and transfer. He is also suspected of participating in a criminal conspiracy, aggravated money laundering, illegal arms possession and supplying or transferring a cryptologic device without integrity control or prior declaration to the authorities.

The person concerned was indicted on 2 February and further legal proceedings will be taken. The accused has been remanded in custody and is still presumed innocent at this stage of the proceedings. Eurojust remains available to support the authorities in case of further requests.

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