Scotlands ‘Mr Bigs’ captured in one of Europe’s Biggest International Crime Stings

£5.1m in cash seized in Operation Venetic . image credit: Metropolitan Police

AN international crime sting operation has rounded up several Scottish household names in a major crackdown on the EncroChat phone encryption network.

Authorities managed to access Encrochat, an encrypted platform used by 60,000 people worldwide, the National Crime Agency has “successfully penetrated” a top-secret communications system used by criminals to trade drugs and guns, said a spokesman.

“The NCA worked with forces across Europe on the UK’s biggest and most significant law enforcement operation.” Some very major crime figures were among over 800 Europe-wide arrests after messages on EncroChat were intercepted and decoded.

The secret military-grade encrypted communication system commonly used by organised criminals trading in drugs and guns has been hacked by law enforcement in one of the biggest operations of its kind.

Thousands of officers from the National Crime Agency, regional crime squads, and every police force in the UK have been involved in a massive international sting that was launched in April.

So far more than 700 people have been arrested, including even police officers and law enforcement officials, and drugs worth £80 million, 77 guns, and more than £54 million in cash has been seized.

Investigations are ongoing and further arrests are expected across Europe.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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