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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

More Arrests in EncroChat Drugs Conspiracy Investigation

Three men have been arrested and a warehouse raided in connection with an alleged conspiracy to import cocaine into the U.K. in food deliveries from the Netherlands.

Officers from the Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) – a joint NCA and Metropolitan Police Service unit – arrested the men in coordinated raids in Glasgow, London and Kent.

The investigation was launched after officers analyzed messages shared on EncroChat – the encrypted messaging platform that was brought down in June as part of Operation Venetic.

Thomas Payne, aged 47, from Hayes Road, Bromley, Kent; Mohammed Khan, aged 30, from Glenbervie Place, Newton Mearns, Glasgow; and Ciaran Jones, aged 32, from Burns Road, Harlesden, London, were arrested in dawn raids on November 4.

At the same time the Dutch authorities raided a food warehouse in Reusel – a town near the Belgium border – which officers believe was going to be used to facilitate the smuggling of drugs. The men were charged with conspiracy to import class A drugs.

Payne, Jones and Khan have been remanded in custody after initial court appearances.

OCP Operations Manager Matt McMillan said: “Following the analysis of EncroChat messages as part of Operation Venetic, we believe we have disrupted a criminal operation to import vast quantities of drugs into the U.K.”

Read more at the National Crime Agency

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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