As a result, a 26-year-old woman and eight men aged between 21 to 47-years-old were arrested for a number of different offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (namely cocaine) and being concerned in the acquisition / retention / concealment / disposal of criminal property (namely cash) under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
The investigation forms part of ‘Operation Eternal’ – the Met’s operational name to arrest those believed to be using encrypted devices to commit crimes.
Detective Inspector Gail Lilley, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Yesterday’s arrests are a continued and concerted effort by law enforcement to stop and arrest those involved in the supply of Class A drugs who often have, or show, very little sympathy for the chaos or violence that comes with it.
“Organised Criminal Networks (OCNs) that think they can use encrypted devices, such as EncroChat, to smuggle drugs or weapons into and around the country are now looking over their shoulders as they know that police forces throughout the UK are working together to arrest and prosecute them for their crimes. Yesterday’s action is a prime example of officers from different police forces coming together to dismantle OCNs and seize their ill-gotten gains.”
Detective Inspector Julie Wakeford of the Surrey and Sussex Serious Organised Crime Unit said; “This is a great example of how forces can work together to disrupt crime groups. Yesterday’s arrests will have an immediate impact on the availability of Class A drugs in the Brighton and Shoreham area and we will continue to work hard to ensure that the disruption of this supply network is long term. “
The warrants were carried out at:
– Abbey Drive, Dartford
– A commercial property in Belvedere, DA17
– Dowells Street, SE10
– St Mary’s Road, Wrotham, Kent
– Cold Blow Crescent, Bexley
– Sheppey Close, Erith
– First Avenue, Bexleyheath
– Wichling Close, Orpington
– Greenways Crescent, Shoreham
– Foredown Drive, Portslade
– Glenfalls Avenue, Brighton
– May Road, Brighton