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Wednesday, 5 August 2020 - 8:41am

Nottinghamshire Police supports massive nationwide drugs operation

Police seized 7.5kg of cocaine and heroin and £620,000 in the raids.

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Nottinghamshire Police has supported the UK’s most significant law enforcement operation in the fight against drugs.

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police and the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) carried out warrants across Nottinghamshire, including in Eastwood and Bulwell, and have so far made two arrests.

Police seized 7.5kg of cocaine and heroin and £620,000 in the raids.

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The action was linked to Operation Venetic, a national effort to tackle the supply of illegal drugs which led to the cracking of a secret phone system used by organised criminals.

Around 60,000 serious and organised criminals across the globe were using ‘EncroChat’ in a bid to evade police surveillance.

Earlier in the year, French and Dutch authorities infiltrated the encrypted system, leading to the discovery of thousands of people using the system and millions of messages full of intelligence for the police.

The UK launched its operation, codenamed Venetic after this information was passed to the authorities.

The national operation has resulted in the seizure of more than £50 million in cash, 74 firearms, more than two tonnes of Class A and B drugs, and nearly 700 arrests.

On Thursday, July 2, EncroChat servers were shut down.

Detective Inspector Jon Scurr, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a huge operation which is still ongoing in Nottinghamshire, with more arrests expected.

“We have made significant seizures in our bid to tackle organised crime, reduce violence linked to drug dealing and improve life for people in our communities.

“The national dismantling of EncroChat is also a huge boost for those of us in law enforcement and our efforts to be one step ahead of organised criminals.”

Paul Williamson, National Crime Agency regional head of investigations, said: “This piece of activity in the East Midlands and across the UK was unprecedented.

“It is, without doubt, the broadest and deepest ever operation into serious organised crime, with the people targeted at the top end of the criminal tree.”

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