Arrest and cash seized in drug investigation
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A man’s been arrested and a large amount of cash seized as part of an investigation linked to Op Venetic and the cracking of specially encrypted phones.
Officers investigating the sale of drugs in Essex attended an address in Wanstead Park on Friday 21 August.
A 52 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to sell a Class A drug and conspiring to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property.
At the address a large amount of cash was found as well as an encrypted phone and a cash counter.
The man arrested has since been released on bail until 17 September.
It was part of an investigation which has emanated from Op Venetic – a major operation involving the cracking of a bespoke encrypted global communication service, exclusively used by criminals.
EncroChat offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service with 60,000 users worldwide and around 10,000 in the UK.
The primary use was for co-ordinating and planning criminal activities including the distribution of illicit commodities and money laundering.
Since 2016, international law enforcement agencies worked together to target EncroChat, and other encrypted criminal communications platforms, and earlier this year agencies in France and the Netherlands infiltrated the platform.
The intelligence gleaned through this was then shared via Europol to national law enforcement agencies.