BUSINESS
03/16/2018 12:11 EDT | Updated 03/16/2018 12:12 EDT

Phantom Secure CEO Vincent Ramos Charged With Conspiring To Sell Unhackable Phones To Criminals

Authorities say Phantom Secure advertised its products as impervious to decryption.

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Authorities allege that Phantom Secure guaranteed that evidence on a device could be destroyed remotely if it was compromised.

TORONTO — The United States has arrested the chief executive of Phantom Secure, a Canadian privacy and security firm, alleging the Vancouver-area resident has conspired to provide drug traffickers with modified BlackBerry smartphones to evade law enforcement.

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, B.C., was arrested last week in Seattle, Wash., and faces criminal charges filed with a U.S. district court in San Diego, Calif. Those records are sealed.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the charges Thursday following a years-long undercover operation that included several American, Australian and Canadian agencies including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Promised evidence could be destroyed remotely

Authorities continue to seek four other suspects from various countries.

They allege that Phantom Secure advertised its products as impervious to decryption and guaranteed that evidence on a device could be destroyed remotely if it was compromised.

The Canadian Press hasn't been able to contact Ramos or his lawyer for comment.

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