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World Man charged with drugs and firearms offences after Encrochat bust

02:16  04 july  2020
02:16  04 july  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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A third man has been charged with drugs offences following police raids in north Belfast. Drugs and ammunition were seized during searches at seven houses across Police said a 31-year-old man had been charged with drugs and firearms offences and is due to appear at court in Belfast on Monday.

Encrypted EncroChat system was smashed revealing thousands of messages from criminals and their plots. All the five warrants in the county were linked, and are connected to alleged high-level drug dealing and firearms offences , with guns used to 'enforce' in criminals' Class A turfs or patches.

A 24-year-old man has been charged with planning to supply firearms, ammunition and drugs after police arrested hundreds of suspected criminals.

a group of items on a tabletop: The National Crime Agency released images of drugs it said it seized in the Europe-wide operation © Other The National Crime Agency released images of drugs it said it seized in the Europe-wide operation

Alsi Vata, of Deptford, southeast London, has been charged with conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and ammunition, as well as conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

He is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court on 17 July.

Vata was detained by NCA and Metropolitan Police officers on Thursday as part of an operation which saw more than 800 suspects arrested across Europe - including 132 by the Met - after messages on encrypted phone system Encrochat were intercepted and decoded.

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The charges are linked to an arrest in Distillery Street, west Belfast on Saturday morning. He is accused of possessing class A drugs , intending to supply class A drugs and other offences . The man is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Eight men have been charged with drugs offences following police raids in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. The men were arrested by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) - a regional crime squad that tackles cross-border organised crime. They were later charged with conspiring to

£54m in cash was seized during the major operation © NetStorage £54m in cash was seized during the major operation

Investigators said they seized £54m in cash, two tonnes of cocaine and 77 firearms including assault rifles, sub-machine guns and grenades.

Contract killings were stopped by the operation and some police officers and law enforcement officials were also arrested.

Many of the targets are said to have considered themselves "untouchable" - posing as respectable, wealthy tycoons with lifestyles built on the profits of legitimate businesses.

Thousands of NCA officers, regional crime squads and every police force in Britain was involved in Operation Venetic.

It was launched in April after analysts managed to infiltrate the secretive Encrochat mobile telephone system used by organised criminals around the world.

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A man has been charged with firearms and drugs offences after police found a man with a weapon in a wood near a sports centre in Shrewsbury. Jeffrey Page, of Ferndale Road, was charged with having a firearm without a certificate and possession of a firearm and ammunition in a public place.

The system, which was hosted in France, was taken down during the police operation.

Users paid £1,600 a month for a bespoke Encrochat handset which offers a highly encrypted communication platform.

The NCA says there were 60,000 users around the world and 10,000 in the UK, all of them suspected criminals.


Video: A handgun, bullets and silencer are displayed after a criminal network bust by Metropolitan Police in a joint operation with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and European partners in London, Britain, in this undated image released July 2, 2020. The NCA and European partners shared data from the encrypted communication system EncroChat with the Met Police, which led them to make over 170 arrests and seize 13.4 million pounds in cash. (France 24)

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