Encrypted phone seller jailed for facilitating crime
The court in Rotterdam on Tuesday convicted Danny M., the owner of Ennetcom, of purposefully facilitating crime. The man was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for leading a criminal organization that sold and traded encrypted phones for criminal use, NU.nl reports.
Selling or possessing an encrypted phone is not punishable in itself. But according to the court, M. and his company were well aware that their customer base consisted of criminals and he actively worked to facilitate this. Among other things, he erased messages from phones if their owners were arrested, or if the devices were seized. Ennectom also tried to figure out how the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) worked to hack into encrypted devices. "Clearly the intention was to stay ahead of the investigative authorities," the court said.
Because the company new it worked with criminals, it also knew that the payments came from criminals. The court therefore also considered money laundering proven.
This was an important ruling because the police hacking into the Ennetcom server in Canada in 2016, and gaining access to millions of messages sent between criminals, sparked a flood of lawsuits. Messages from this server are also evidence in the major Marengo assassinations trial. If M. was acquitted, the hacking of the server could have been considered illegal.
An Ennectom employee was also sentenced to three months in prison, conditionally suspended, and 180 hours of community service. She worked in accounting and made false invoices for the company.