An arrest as part of Operation Ironside on June 8 (Image: AAP/Victoria Police)

At a press conference heralding the success of Operation Ironside, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner Reece Kershaw boasted about his agency’s involvement in the global crime sting.

“We worked in partnership [with the FBI] and we provided a technical capacity to do that,” he said.

More than 800 suspected criminals were arrested, tonnes of drugs, hundreds of guns and millions of dollars of cryptocurrency were seized in the operation. And at the heart of it was an encrypted messaging app, Anom, which was supposed to allow users -- criminals, police say -- to communicate without anyone intercepting.