Ten arrests and £365,000 seized in South Yorkshire after national police breakthrough in tackling organised crime

Ten arrests and £365,000 seized in South Yorkshire after national police breakthrough in tackling organised crime

By Chloe West | 03/07/2020

Ten arrests and £365,000 seized in South Yorkshire after national police breakthrough in tackling organised crime
One of the weapons seized from the South Yorkshire region.

 

 

CASH totalling £365,000 and three firearms were seized and ten arrests were made in South Yorkshire as part of a nationwide police crackdown on organised and serious crime.

Details of the nationwide operation, dubbed Operation Venetic, have been revealed after police officers seized over 120kg of drugs nearly £3 million nationally and arrested 70 people.

A police spokeswoman said in South Yorkshire, under Programme Precision, there had been ten individuals arrested, £365,000 in cash and three firearms seized, as well as "multiple" kilograms of drugs.

The operation was described as the biggest and most significant operation of its kind in the UK and saw the takedown of a bespoke encrypted global communication service, EncroChat, which was said to be used exclusively by criminals.

The National Crime Agency said Encrochat was one of the largest providers of encrypted communications and offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service, but an international law enforcement team cracked the company’s encryption.

There were 60,000 users worldwide and around 10,000 users in the UK, said the NCA, and the sole use was for coordinating and planning the distribution of illicit commodities, money laundering and plotting to kill rival criminals.

The EncroChat servers have now been shut down.

Officers from the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit led the operation regionally, with each of the four forces carrying out additional work in their areas.

Jayne Lloyd, head of investigations for the North at the National Crime Agency, said: "Operation Venetic is the broadest and most significant co-ordinated assault on UK organised crime groups ever seen.

“Criminals who believed they were operating anonymously in the shadows of technology, have and are still being exposed, this is causing criminals grave concern.

“Together with our partners in the UK and abroad, we have protected the public by arresting those who thought they were untouchable as they conducted their illegal activities within our communities.”

 




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