#AceNewsReport – Aug.05: Miodrag Ivankovic, 45, was stopped by Border Force officers on 6 September at the freight controls in Dover after arriving from Calais.
#AceDailyNews reports that a trucker has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for smuggling cocaine with a street value of £7-million after an NCA Investigation ……
Officers searched his truck and cut into a suspicious pallet of boxes and white powder spilled out.
Inside the truck was a total of 94kg of cocaine with a street value of £7.5m.
Ivankovic’s DNA was on the boxes containing the drugs and he admitted trying to smuggle the Class A.
Ivankovic, from Banja Luka, in north Bosnia, was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday (29 July).
NCA Branch Commander Martin Grace said: “We and our Border Force partners have taken a significant consignment of cocaine out of the supply chain: “ The organised crime group behind the plot have lost profits they would have ploughed back into more offending and they have lost a trusted smuggler: Drugs bring misery to UK communities and the NCA will continue to do everything it can to combat the threat.”
#AceNewsReport – Aug.04: Harvey had a catalogue of almost 9,000 indecent images of children and 630 prohibited images on his electronic devices, which he had collated between 2015-2020. Of those were 860 category A images (the most severe), 1,290 category B and 6,984 category C.
#AceDailyNews reports that a man who abused a toddler sought out jobs where he’d have access to children Keats Harvey, a 24-year-old American national, groomed and sexually assaulted four children, the youngest of whom was a toddler: He will be sentenced at the same court on 8 October 2021.
He was arrested by NCA officers at his home in West Wittering, Chichester, in May 2020.
The NCA uncovered a large number of chat logs and emails in which he had sent and received these images from other likeminded individuals, as well as admitting to having molested three young children.
Investigators subsequently identified four children who had been abused by Harvey, all of whom were under ten-years-old and have since been safeguarded.
He met his victims through other adults he knew and assaulted one of the children whilst at a party.
Harvey made multiple further attempts to meet and abuse children by befriending vulnerable adults with kids and applying for jobs at places where we knew he would have access to children, including hospitals and nurseries.
Through their investigation into Harvey, NCA officers identified another American national they suspected had sexually abused an eleven-year-old boy.
Intelligence was shared with US authorities based in Seattle and the man, a teacher, was arrested and the child safeguarded.
Yesterday (29/07/2021) at Hove Crown Court Harvey was found guilty of six counts of possessing indecent images of children (categories A-C), two counts of possessing prohibited images, two counts of taking and one of distributing an indecent photo of a child, two counts of assaulting a child under 13 by touching, and meeting a girl under 16 following grooming.
Peter Stevens, Branch Commander at the NCA, said: “Keats Harvey was conducting very serious offending, not just online but by physically abusing young children: On top of this, he was actively trying to befriend adults who had children and had researched jobs on the internet, at hospitals and nurseries, all with the aim of gaining access to children: In my view he is an offender whose behaviour was escalating in terms of the severity of the offending he was trying to commit.
“Prosecuting individuals like Harvey who pose a sexual risk to children is a priority for the NCA: My team worked tirelessly, with support from the Crown Prosecution Service, analysing reams of particularly disturbing material to build the case against him and ensure he would face justice: “We also worked closely with policing partners to identify offenders and safeguard victims. In this case, Sussex and Hampshire Police provided significant support to the investigation.”
#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: It is suspected that the man may have played a role in importing class A drugs into the UK from mainland Europe, through his position at a haulage firm based in Armagh.
#AceDailyNews reports that a Northern Ireland man has been arrested as part of NCA investigation after obtaining evidence from Operation #Venetic – the UK’s law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted communications platform #EncroChat last year…
His arrest is also linked to a number of other arrests throughout the UK in the last twelve months. All those arrested are suspected to have played a role within the same organised crime group: The man was taken to Carlisle police station, where he remains for questioning….
NCA Belfast Branch Commander David Cunningham said: “We continue to work with partners to investigate a number of drug importations that can be linked back to hauliers in Northern Ireland: “ We remain committed to pursuing those involved in the trafficking of illicit drugs whose actions fuel violence and exploitation in our communities: “ Investigations into the actions of this suspected OCG continue.”
#AceNewsReport – July.30: On 19 December, Hart had travelled to Eersel in the Netherlands, later telling officers the trip had been to buy Christmas presents, as well as to collect a motorcycle and parts for his family’s hobby of international motocross racing……..
#AceDailyNews reports that a man tried to smuggle drugs into the U.K. after Netherlands Christmas shopping trip with his wife and ‘The National Crime Agency’ investigated after a van hired by Sean Hart, 40, from Newcastle, was stopped at the Eurotunnel controls in Coquelles, France in December 2016 he was arrested and later charged.
After stopping the van on its return journey to the UK, Border Force officers discovered two packages of cocaine weighing a total of 2kg concealed in the dashboard. The cocaine would be worth an estimated £60k at wholesale and £160k at street level.
Today [27 July], Sean Hart was convicted of importing a class A drug after a seven day trial at Newcastle Crown Court: He is due to be sentenced on 15 September at the same location.
NCA Operations Manager Julie Booker said: “This was a blatant attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into the UK under the guise of travelling to do his Christmas shopping. Not only was Sean Hart prevented from making money from importing class A drugs, he now faces the prospect of prison time: “Illegal drugs are at the root of considerable violence and exploitation. We will continue to work with partners like Border Force to keep our communities safe by preventing class A drugs from entering the country.”
A second defendant was found not guilty after the same trial.
#AceNewsReport – July.27: The warning has been issued to companies at the border, including port and airport operators, contractors, couriers and freight operators, as their furloughed staff return to work following the easing of #COVID19 restrictions.
#AceDailyNews reports that NCA warns furloughed port and airport workers could be exploited by organised criminal groups and as global restrictions on the movement of people and goods are further relaxed, the alert warns that staff who have a detailed knowledge of controls and processes around the border could be targeted….
NCA Borders Threat Lead Beki Wright said: Life has been difficult for everyone during the Covid 19 pandemic, including staff who work at the border, but organised criminals are alive to the opportunities this presents: The prospect of having your bills paid in exchange for disclosing knowledge about the UK border might seem appealing, but the people behind these offers are high-harm criminals responsible for drug smuggling, gun running, money laundering and people trafficking: Working with our partners at the Department for Transport and Border Force, we are determined to do all we can to combat corruption and dismantle the criminal networks responsible for it.”Beki Wright added: We are aware that staff can be contacted via social media channels and would urge anyone who has been approached in this or any other way to contact us immediately. Your actions could help prevent serious criminality.
Rob Allen, Deputy Director for the Border Force Insider Threat and Integrity Team, said: We are absolutely committed to tackling organised crime and doing whatever is necessary to protect the public from harm: We welcome opportunities such as working with the NCA to disrupt organised criminal networks.” In recent years NCA investigations and intelligence has identified examples of organised criminal networks targeting those working at ports and airports, parcel hubs and delivery centres. While the numbers are relatively low, the impact of such corrupt insiders can be extremely high.
The NCA’s 2021 National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised crime states that OCG efforts to establish new insider contacts are likely to increase as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. The Amber Alert issued by the agency warns that OCGs frequently offer financial support in return for knowledge and access to restricted areas. This can be used to help smuggle illicit commodities such as firearms and drugs, or the movement of vulnerable people and children through organised immigration crime: OCGs may approach workers face-to-face or online, posing as recruiters or on some other legitimate pretext.
In February 2020, Ben Whitby was stopped by police on his way home from Killingholme Docks where he worked as a tug operator. The glove box of his car was found to contain a package of cocaine with a street value of £150,000 and £3,000 in cash.
Whitby was also found to have an active Encro-device, a mobile telephone handset specifically and exclusively used to send and receive sophisticated encrypted communications – much favoured by serious and organised criminals prior to Operation VENETIC as a means of preventing law enforcement interception of messages.
A subsequent search of Whitby’s home discovered a further £20,000 in cash and a collection of high value watches, indicative of an income far beyond what his work at the port paid.
In June 2020, Whitby was sentenced to a total of 6 years and 9 months imprisonment for possession of the cocaine and money laundering.
In April 2018 baggage handler Joysen Jhurry was among 11 defendants for their role in a plot to smuggler cannabis and cocaine ino the UK.
Jhurry was observed on CCTV moving suitcases that had arrived from Brazil onto the Domestic reclaim belt, where they would be collected by couriers.
A substantial quantity of Class A drugs was recovered and it transpired that over 100kg cocaine and 44kg cannabis had been imported into the UK using this method. Jhurry was jailed for 16 years for his role.
Port of Tilbury
In September 2019 a long-running and complex NCA investigation resulted in the conviction of Tilbury port worker, Michael Fowler, who was jailed for 14 years.
He was part of an OCG that moved “dirty” containers carrying drugs to areas of the port where they were more easily accessible, enabling the recovery of the drugs by outside gang members.
“ If you are or have been approached or you have information please contact Crimestoppers anonymously, either online or by phone on 0800 555 111. If you have the means to report it through your employer or access to a whistle-blowing scheme, you can use that.
#AceNewsReport – July.27: She initially denied having any cash on her, but Border Force officers found the money in vacuum-packed bundles, stuffed inside her five checked in suitcases. Hanlon was arrested for money laundering….
#AceNewsDesk reports that Multi-million cash courier who thought she would be living a “perfect life” sentenced to 34 months in jail after The National Crime Agency’s investigation into Tara Hanlon, age 30 and from Leeds, began in October 2020 after she was stopped from boarding a flight from Heathrow to Dubai.
The bundles were covered in coffee, in an apparent attempt to disguise them from being picked up by sniffer dogs.
NCA investigators were able to trace her travel patterns over the previous months, and found that she had made three other trips in July and August 2020.
Enquiries with the Dubai authorities showed that on each occasion she had declared she was carrying more than a million pounds in cash upon arrival, totalling £3.5 million.
In interviews with NCA officers she admitted being driven to a hotel in London to pick up the cases, and was having her flight and hotel bills paid for.
Text messages found on her phones by NCA investigators indicated she was being paid around £3,000 for each trip.
In messages to a contact she bragged “3 big ones…with this wage and the next my debts go bye”. Other messages also indicated she was looking to recruit other couriers, referring to the job as a “…perfect life a few days in the sun and a few at home.”
Hanlon later admitted money laundering charges, and today (Monday 26 July) a judge at Isleworth Crown Court sentenced her to 34 months in prison.
NCA senior investigating officer Ian Truby
“Hanlon smuggled more than £3.5 million criminal cash out of the UK and was caught red handed with another £2 million. This money undoubtedly came from organised crime.
“Tara Hanlon thought that she was going to be living a jet-set lifestyle, instead she is now serving a prison sentence. I hope her story is a cautionary one for others who would consider doing the same.
“Stopping the flow of illicit cash is a priority for the NCA and our partners.”
Following the arrest of Hanlon a number of other cash couriers were identified suspected of being linked to the same money laundering network.
In November 2020 Czech national Zdenek Kamaryt, aged 38, from Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic, was intercepted as he attempted to board a flight from Heathrow to Dubai. £1.3 million cash was found in his bags, with investigators identifying he had made two previous trips in July and August.
Kamaryt pleaded guilty to money laundering offences and was given a two-year jail sentence on 9 March 2021.
Eight other people were arrested in a series of raids in May 2021 at locations in London, Surrey, West Yorkshire, and Greater Manchester. They were released under investigation while enquiries continue.
#AceNewsReport – July.24: The fugitives – all men – are wanted in the UK for various unrelated offences including supplying Class A and B drugs, supplying firearms, causing wounding with intent and conspiracy to rob…..
#AceDailyNews reports that the NCA & Spanish National Police (SNP) have arrested seven British fugitives in Spain in just three weeks for ‘drug & firearms offences’ and causing wounding with intent & conspiracy to rob: The suspects remain in custody awaiting extradition proceedings.
The flurry of arrests were executed by the Spanish National Police with support from the NCA’s international liaison officer network, Interpol Manchester and UK police partners.
In late June one suspect, aged 45, was arrested in Estepona, southern Spain. He was wanted by the NCA in connection to a 40kg cocaine conspiracy.
In the early hours of 4 July, a 27-year-old man was arrested in Marbella for allegedly causing wounding with intent. He is wanted by Greater Manchester Police.
Another UK national wanted by West Midlands Police, was arrested on 5 July in Fuengirola, southern Spain, on suspicion of cocaine and firearms supply.
On 6 July two brothers aged 37 and 35, also wanted by GMP, for allegedly supplying cocaine were arrested in Alicante.
A day later a 36-year-old man wanted by Merseyside Police was arrested in Estepona for allegedly supplying firearms and Class A and B drugs.
On 12 July, a 26-year old man wanted by Greater Manchester Police was arrested in Fuengirola in connection to affray with a machete.
The NCA’s international liaison officers worked with Spanish partners and the Crown Prosecution Service to execute the arrests – some under pre-existing European Arrest Warrants, and some under new Trade and Cooperation Agreement warrants.
Dave Hucker Head of European Operations at the NCA, said: “Seven arrests in just three weeks is the result of some very hard work by the Agency with our Spanish partners – who have allocated critical resources and operated quickly to secure these arrests: Fugitives should know that the NCA work hand in glove with international law enforcement partners, and that we therefore have significant reach: At home and abroad we will never give up on finding offenders who have fled justice.”
#AceNewsReport – July.23: The operation saw a speedboat intercepted off the island of Lefkada on 14 July as it headed towards Italy, carrying 14 migrants: The vessel attempted to out-run Greek authorities, but was eventually stopped after coastguards fired warning shots. The pilot was arrested after throwing himself into the sea in an attempt to escape, leaving the migrants adrift…
#AceDailyNews reports that officers from Project Invigor, the National Crime Agency-led taskforce targeting organised immigration crime, have taken part in an operation which has seen eight members of a major people smuggling network arrested in Greece in July…
Shortly afterwards another seven people were arrested as Greek police raided a number of properties in Athens, seizing cash, mobile phones, forged travel documents and another boat: Those arrested included three Iraqi nationals, two Greek nationals, two Ukrainian nationals and one Turkish national. They will all now face charges: The organised crime group is alleged to have charged migrants between five and seven thousand euros to transport them through Greece and then onwards towards Italy: Many would then move up into northern Europe, with some ending up trying to reach the UK: NCA officers, working as part of Project Invigor, played a crucial role in the operation, helping the Hellenic Police identify and locate the OCG’s leaders and providing support to the overall investigation.
Dave Hucker, Regional Head for NCA International, said: Through Project Invigor we are seeking to attack the people smuggling OCGs impacting upon the UK at every step of the route, in source countries, in transit countries like Greece, as well as at the UK border: This operation, which saw us work in partnership with the Greek police, is an example of that in action: There is no doubt that some of the migrants smuggled from Turkey, through Greece and onwards by this OCG would have ended up attempting to enter the UK illegally as well: Those involved in organised immigration crime are ruthless and happy to treat people as a commodity to be profited from. We are determined to do all we can to stop them: Project Invigor is the UK’s organised immigration crime taskforce set up to target the criminal networks behind people smuggling impacting on the UK: Led by the NCA, it also includes Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and the Crown Prosecution Service. Officers work in the UK and internationally.
#AceNewsReport – July.23: The group are alleged to have had contacts across Europe, in France, Germany the Netherlands and Poland…..
#AceDailyNews reports that seven arrests have been made as NCA dismantles Albanian people smuggling network suspected of bringing hundreds to the UK these were among those detained by NCA officers in a series of raids in south London, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hartlepool yesterday (20 July) was the alleged ringleader of the people smuggling network, which investigators believe used lorries and hired vans to transport individuals from northern France.
Over a period of six months between July and December 2020 six such attempts were stopped by Border Force officers carrying out searches of vehicles at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, near Calais.
All have subsequently been linked to the OCG under investigation by the NCA.
In one of those attempts, in August last year, two vans were intercepted within half an hour of each other, each carrying ten Albanian migrants.
The drivers of all the stopped vehicles were arrested and investigated by Immigration Enforcement.
In May 2021 two further attempts linked to the network were stopped, as NCA investigators shared intelligence with French and German counterparts which led to vehicles containing migrants being halted by police before they could reach the coast.
In some cases migrants are believed to have paid the OCG between �20,000 and �25,000 to reach the UK. NCA financial investigators have identified numerous bank accounts alleged to belong to the network, each showing tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds in turnover.
All seven arrested today are now being questioned on suspicion of offences including conspiring to facilitate illegal entry to the UK and money laundering.
The operation, which involved around 100 officers, was supported by the Metropolitan Police and Immigration Enforcement. Approximately �30,000 cash was also detained.
NCA Branch Commander Richard Harrison said: We believe these arrests will have significantly disrupted an organised criminal network responsible for smuggling potentially hundreds of people into the UK illegally: The network claimed to provide a top of the range service and charged accordingly, using complicit drivers to transport migrants in hired vehicles: This activity represented a significant threat to both the safety of the migrants involved and the security of UK border controls.”
NCA Deputy Director Andrea Wilson added: This operation shows that people smugglers are right at the top of the NCA’s target list: It is a form of criminality that sees people exploited for profit by criminals who have no regard for human life: Those involved in organised immigration crime should know that our officers are working day and night with partners in the UK and abroad to find them, disrupt and dismantle their business models and bring them to justice: I also have a message today for drivers, commercial or otherwise, who would consider assisting these organised criminal networks by transporting migrants on their behalf.
#AceNewsReport – July.22: Officers, assisted by the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG) and colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA), targeted 16 addresses in south London in raids starting early on Wednesday morning….
#AceDailyNews reports that drug warrants were carried out in Southwark on Wednesday, 21 July, by officers from ‘Southwark Safer Neighbourhoods Team’ and the local CID, along with officers from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime, led an operation focused on the disruption of suspected offenders operating in the Peckham and Old Kent Road areas.
In total, 12 males – aged between 16 and 55 – were arrested on suspicion of offences including supply of Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
Searches at the addresses have concluded and officers have seized a quantity of what is believed to be Class A and Class B drugs, as well as a stash of cash.
The investigation was launched in December 2020 after officers identified a number of people involved in drug supply across Southwark.
The early stages of the investigation revealed to officers that there were a large amount of drugs lines operating in the area. Those believed to be concerned in the supply were subsequently targeted as part of the long running operation.
The operation involved more than 200 officers from the Met, as well as a number of officers from the NCA.
Neighbourhood Inspector Tom Cornish, from the Central South Basic Command Unit, which covers Lambeth and Southwark, said:“This morning’s activity is a direct result of months and months of hard work by officers. The public have played an important role in providing information that has assisted us in the dismantling of these drug lines. Concerns of drug dealing in the area were raised and we have acted to put a stop to this pernicious activity: We know that drug dealing is closely linked to violence we see on the streets of London and cause great misery in our communities. That is exactly why disrupting the supply of drugs is a central part of our work to continue to tackle violence in the capital: By disrupting these drug supply lines, we have hopefully prevented associated violent incidents from occurring in the future.”…….All those arrested have been taken to police stations in south London.
+ Do you have information about drug crime? If you have information that could help keep your community safe, but don’t want to speak to police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call or I.P address.
Any young people who have information about drug dealing or want information about the consequences of drug crime, can visit www.fearless.org to where they can pass on information anonymously – your I.P address will not be traced. Fearless is part of the Crimestopperscharity and is independent of the police.
Hard calls save lives. Are you close to someone on the fringes of violence or drug crime? Do the right thing, please give information, 100 per cent anonymously, through the independent charity Crimestoppers.
No piece of information about violent crime is insignificant or too small. Any information you give to Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families.
#AceNewsReport – July.18: It was also part of a Europe-wide operation, co-ordinated in the UK by the NCA’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit, and involved 19 police forces from across the UK, as well as other partners including Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, British Transport Police, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions.
#AceDailyNewsreports that thirty eight people have been arrested as national law enforcement drive targets child traffickers during an activity, which took place in the week of 28 June, was the latest strand of Project Aidant, the National Crime Agency-led law enforcement response to modern slavery and human trafficking.
In the year ending 2020, 4,946 children entered the National Referral Mechanism claiming to be victims of trafficking and exploitation in the UK. Once trafficked, children are often sold on into forms of modern slavery and exploitation, including forced criminality, labour, and sexual exploitation.
Of those arrested, 18 were for child criminal and drug related exploitation, 11 were for sexual exploitation, while the rest were for a variety of offences including domestic servitude, labour exploitation and general trafficking.
In all 99 potential victims were identified through a range of law enforcement activity initiating 51 new investigations. Although the activity targeted those exploiting children, a number of adult potential victims were also located as a result of the work, with 72 children and 27 adults identified. Of these, 55 safeguarding referrals were submitted via the National Referral Mechanism.
The intensification period saw increased police presence at London tube and rail stations where suspected victims of child trafficking were thought to be forced to work as pick pockets.
The NCA and Metropolitan Police Service also searched what they suspected to be a brothel where young Romanian girls and women were allegedly being exploited in East London. The search officers didn’t encounter any children, but they did find several Romanian women working in distressing conditions and being sold for as low as £20 per hour for sex work. DWP investigators have also begun an investigation into potentially fraudulent claims being made by people at the address.
Due to the poor conditions of the premises and reports of anti-social behaviour, the Metropolitan Police Service will be taking steps to close the brothel and safeguard the potential victims.
Police Scotland identified and safeguarded five minors that had allegedly been trafficked to the UK, launching five new investigations.
Border Force officers also carried out additional checks at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles to detect potential victims of trafficking travelling through UK juxtaposed controls, finding a Romanian male travelling in a minibus, coming to work in the UK for the first time with no work permit. His travelling companions had recruited him from his village and paid for his travel and documentation. He expected to earn just £40 a day. The man has been safeguarded due to his perceived vulnerability and obvious signs of distress.
Liam Harrison from the NCA’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit said: “This activity, which was months in the making, identified and safeguarded victims of child trafficking and disrupted those controlling them.
“Our joint work across the week has also sparked a number of new investigations and it is expected that these results will rise over the coming weeks as our operational activity continues.”
The joint week of action was part of a wider EMPACT intensification which involved partners from across Europe. The wider activity saw a total of 175 arrests and 187 potential victims identified across Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
#AceNewsReport – July.16: Jabarkhel is suspected of being a high-ranking member of a significant Afghan organised crime group involved in transporting migrants from northern France and Belgium into the UK in the back of lorries.
#AceDailyNewsreports that suspected head of international people smuggling network arrested by the NCA: Gul Wali Jabarkhel, aged 32, who was in the UK illegally, was detained by officers in Colindale on the evening of Thursday 8 July.
The group had contacts with other OCGs based in Belgium, and planned to use complicit lorry drivers to smuggle migrants across the Channel on a regular basis.
After he was questioned by NCA investigators, Crown Prosecution Service lawyers authorised two charges of conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration to the UK.
He appeared at Willesden Magistrates court on 10 July and was remanded to custody to appear at Harrow Crown court on 6 August.
NCA Branch Commander Andy Noyes said: This is a significant arrest. Jabarkhel is suspected of running a criminal enterprise which involved migrants being moved across the channel in lorries in dangerous circumstances: Organised immigration crime sees people treated as a commodity to be exploited and profited from, and tackling it is a priority for the NCA: This arrest is another example of the success we are having in targeting those suspected of involvement in people smuggling impacting on the UK. Others engaged in this kind of activity should take note.”
#AceNewsReport – June.26: With the support of international law enforcement partners, NCA officers were able to view a folder labelled ‘Incest’ which contained hundreds of indecent videos of children – ranging from Category A, the most serious, to Category C.
#AceDailyNews reports that following an NCA investigation into a Dark web paedophile who moaned about access to children in lockdown and told ‘PedoPub’ chatroom that working from home stopped his walks past school last year Phillip Nutt, 53, of Horfield, Bristol, who had almost 300 indecent images and videos on his phone and computers, when officers arrested him at a holiday home in Cornwall last year……
25 June 2021
Further searches that identified that he also used cloud based accounts overseas where he allowed videos to be accessed by others. The accounts hosted 18,641 files across 445 folders.
Some of the videos lasted up to two hours and showed the torture and rape of babies and young children.
NCA digital forensic analysis found that Nutt frequently accessed the dark web, and had a secure image storage facility on his phone disguised as a calculator.
He was careful about hiding his content and described having ‘a scare’ when pictures accidentally transferred onto his main hard drive.
In one chat with another user he stated – “I have everything secured and no one can see unless I leave it unlocked by accident. I have a false camera storage as well so if someone asks to see my photos it shows normal people photos. The good ones are hidden.”
In another conversation, in a chatroom called ‘PedoPub’, Nutt discussed his frustration with the lack of access to children during lockdown.
“I usually walk past a school on the way to work and I can’t even do that!”
He added: “I am of the view that you have to be so careful and disguise your true self….
“Any little ones around me I treat as friends and gain their confidence.”
Nutt appeared before Bristol Crown Court yesterday, where he was sentenced to 16 months in prison, having pleaded guilty to possessing, making and distributing indecent images at an earlier hearing.
Derek Evans, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said: “The conviction of Nutt serves as a warning to all – that we will work with partners across the globe to safeguard children and bring offenders before the Court: “ This investigation identified the horrendous rape of babies and very young children, which was being distributed by Nutt, who attempted to conceal his methods through sophisticated means and his knowledge of IT systems: For as long as the demand for this material remains in depraved people like Nutt, it will continue to be supplied. This investigation has broken part of that cycle and the NCA have succeeded in disrupting someone who posed a significant threat to children.”
#AceNewsReport – June.25: All three were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to export class A drugs, fraud and breaches of the Aviation Security Act: At the address in Hanwell gold bullion thought to be worth in excess of £250,000 was also seized, along with keys to a safety deposit box containing £60,000 in cash.
Australian Border Force officers found the drugs concealed in a consignment described as ‘lift and tailgate parts’ which had been shipped from Heathrow using a UK freight agent.
They estimate the drugs would have had a potential street value of around £84 million.
New South Wales Police Force Organised Crime Squad detectives subsequently arrested three people in connection with their investigation into the importation on 18 May.
NCA investigators have been able to identify a number of other similar shipments made from the UK to Australia using a similar method. These are now under investigation.
NCA Branch Commander Andy Noyes said: Our investigation is looking at a sophisticated network of criminals able to smuggle large quantities of class A drugs across the globe via air freight: Some of those involved appeared to have insider knowledge of freight systems which they exploited. Protecting the safety and security of the UK is a priority for us: Working through our overseas network with our partners in Australia and at home in the UK we are determined to do all we can to track down those involved, and our investigation will continue.”
Mark Bishop, Head of Asia Pacific region for NCA International, added: I’m grateful for the continued cooperation and support of Australian Border Force and the New South Wales Police Force on this investigation: This partnership is vital to tackle international serious and organised crime affecting both our countries.”
#AceNewsReport – June.25: The investigation was launched after OCP officers analysed messages shared by Patru on EncroChat – the encrypted messaging platform that was brought down last year as part of Operation Venetic:
#AceDailyNews says ….Officers in Operation #Venetic a key-player in #EncroChat drugs and money laundering conspiracy jailed: Ervin Patru, from Albania, was arrested at his home in Harrow by officers from the OCP – a joint partnership between the NCA & MET in December 2020.
Using the handle ‘veteranbeer’, Patru exchanged 14,000 lines of messages about selling Class A drugs: In the messages Patru displays nervousness over law-enforcement activity and tells associates he was ‘frightened’ into briefly ceasing his communications: Messages were also found linking Patru to a previous OCP arrest, during which an Albanian national was found with 4 kilos of cocaine following a high-speed police chase. The ‘veteranbeer’ alias speaks of 4 ‘packets of ours’ which ‘got seized’ and expresses relief that a ‘fallen’ associate did not ‘talk’ and ‘**** everything up:
Patru was charged on 11 December 2020 with Class A drug supply and money laundering offences and remanded in custody: He pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced yesterday (22/06/2021) at Harrow Crown Court to 15 years in prison:
OCP Operations Manager Matt McMillan said: Disrupting the communications between criminals on digital platforms is a crucial part of preventing illegal drugs from reaching streets in the UK: The apprehensive tone of Patru’s messages indicates the success of our collective efforts to disrupt the trade in class A drugs, which fuels violence and exploitation: This investigation is yet another example of the NCA and Met Police working together to protect the public.”
#AceNewsReport – June.19: A man wanted for his alleged involvement in multi-tonne cocaine importations from South America to Germany has been arrested by the National Crime Agency:
NCA: ‘Arrested a WANTED: Suspected member of international organised crime group who used #EncroChat arrested’ the 44-year-old man was apprehended this morning (Wed 16 June) after NCA officers tracked him down to an address in Woolwich, South East London, on behalf of the Bundeskriminalamt in Germany.
He is believed to have a significant role in an Albanian and German organised crime group behind cocaine importations over a number of years, who have associates in South America and across Europe to facilitate the movement of drugs.
Deputy Director Andrea Wilson, from the National Crime Agency, said: “This man has gone to great lengths to evade law enforcement both in Germany and the UK, which included using the encrypted comms platform EncroChat to communicate with his associates:
His arrest is the culmination of great collaborative work between the NCA and our colleagues in the BKA, and highlights how we are working together with partners to target and dismantle the organised crime groups responsible for bringing drugs to our streets: We know that Western Balkan crime groups have a presence at all stages of the cocaine supply chain, from South America to the UK. They play a significant role in the wholesale movement of cocaine, and we will not stop in our endeavours to identify those involved and disrupt their activity.”
#AceNewsReport – June.19: He is wanted by the Belgian authorities who allege he was a member of a people smuggling network moving migrants through Belgium and France and into the UK in the back of lorries:
ESSEX LORRY PARK DEATHS CASE: People smuggling suspect wanted in connection with Essex lorry deaths is arrested by the NCA: The Vietnamese national, who at this stage is not being named, was detained at a supermarket petrol station just of the A66 in Middlesbrough around 1pm this afternoon (17 June).
He is suspected of running safe houses in Brussels where the migrants stayed before their fatal journey. He is also accused of organising their onward transport in taxis to the collection point in France where they were stowed in the rear of the refrigerated lorry.
A Belgian investigating magistrate issued an arrest warrant in December, suspecting that he was now in the UK and had links to the Birmingham area.
However NCA investigators were able to track him down to a location in Middlesbrough where he was detained today, in an operation supported by the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).
He will now appear before Westminster Magistrates where extradition proceedings will begin.
The NCA’s Head of Organised Immigration Crime Operations, Miles Bonfield, said: This is another significant arrest in terms of the identifying those involved in the events which led to the tragic deaths of those 39 migrants: The individual detained today is suspected by the Belgian authorities of having played a key role in placing at least ten migrants inside that lorry: Working closely with partners in the UK, Europe and beyond we are determined to do all we can to get justice for the families of those who died, and disrupt and dismantle the cruel organised criminal networks involved in people smuggling.”
#AceNewsReport – June.18: The NCA launched an investigation when an encrypted Encro phone and drugs were found at Shepherd’s home. He had earlier been stopped in his car by officers from West Yorkshire Police, who found a block of cocaine in his vehicle:
Operation Venetic: ‘Former footballer guilty of northern firearms conspiracy: Paul Shepherd, 43 – who played for clubs including Leeds United and Luton Town – was charged by the NCA with firearms offences after a Glock semi-automatic pistol and a Howa bolt-action rifle, as well as 200 rounds of ammunition were seized from his home on Stainbeck Lane, Leeds, in April last year together with an EncroChat phone’
The use of Encro phones can be linked to Operation Venetic – UK law enforcement’s response to the take down of encrypted comms platform EncroChat.
Messages on the seized device linked Shepherd to the firearms and triggered further arrests and seizures across West Yorkshire, Merseyside and the North East.
Those arrested included Gerard Wignall, 33, from Merseyside, who was sentenced to 16 months in prison last month after his DNA was found on the rifle at Shepherd’s house.
The rifle could be traced back to a commercial burglary and was being looked after by Wignall before it was transported to West Yorkshire.
A further suspect, Carl O’Flaherty, 36, of Leysolme Terrace, Leeds, was arrested in June 2020 and pleaded guilty to multiple drugs and firearms charges in July.
Evidence proved that O’Flaherty helped source the firearm for Shepherd and took eventual payment for it.
A third man from Leeds, Shane Kameka, 40, also pleaded guilty to being involved in supplying firearms.
Kameka acted as a courier and transported the rifle from Merseyside. His sentence will be joined with another hearing where he is due to be sentenced for a separate arson offence.
Investigators believe they were assisted by Clinton Blakey, 36, of Dunstarn Drive, Leeds, who is currently wanted by the NCA after failing to appear at court after he was charged in August.
Today at Leeds Crown Court, Shepherd was found guilty of four charges relating to possessing a firearm and Class A drugs after a three day trial.
Both he and O’Flaherty are accused of further charges around drug supply and are due to be trialled in May 2022, after which, a sentence will decided.
NCA Operations Manager, Nigel Coles, said: “Shepherd went to great lengths to acquire dangerous firearms that were criminally sourced: “ We’re pleased that the evidence presented at court this week has secured a guilty verdict and hope further charges can be proven at a later date: The seriousness of gun crime cannot be underestimated: Had we not intercepted these weapons they would have been used to threaten and intimidate others with the potential loss of life. Criminals like Shepherd, O’Flaherty and Kameka perpetuate violent crime and are only motivated by financial gain. Reducing the availability of illegal firearms remains a priority for the NCA: We are still seeking one other man involved in this investigation.
“Anyone with information on Clinton Blakey’s whereabouts is urged to contact the National Crime Agency on 0370 496 7622 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
#AceNewsReport – June.16: The National Crime Agency launched an investigation after Kemar Livingstone Plummer, 35, from Grimsby, arrived at Manchester Airport on a commercial flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 9 January 2020:
NCA Investigation over smuggling case where a man hid cocaine inside food packages: Plummer’s suitcase was 4kg heavier than it had been when he checked in earlier that morning.
Upon searching it, Border Force officers uncovered two packets of brownie cake mix, a packet of banana flavoured cereal, a pancake waffle mix, a Jamaican fruit cake mix and a pack of Jamaican gourmet coffee.
A full search of the contents revealed a total of 3.5kg of cocaine hidden within the six food boxes. This quantity would fetch an estimated £122,000 if sold wholesale, or around £277,000 if sold on the UK streets.
Plummer was arrested on suspicion of drug importation offences and remanded in custody.
NCA officers forensically examined Plummer’s mobile phone, finding WhatsApp messages from a contact telling him that they were worried and wouldn’t be able to sleep until they heard that Plummer had successfully retrieved his luggage.
His phone also contained an image of a 10cm thick pile of £10 and £20 notes, which he claimed was from the sale of a car.
On Friday (11th June) Plummer was jailed for seven and a half years at Stockport Magistrates Court after being found guilty of importing cocaine.
D. Pownall, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Plummer foolishly thought that he could get away with smuggling cocaine into the UK for profit.
“Drug smugglers play a key role in the drug supply chain, aiding organised crime groups in a trade that brings violence and exploitation to our communities.
“Protecting our borders and preventing drugs from reaching the UK remains a top priority, and we’ll continue to work with key partners like Border Force to ensure such criminal activity is disrupted.”
#AceNewsReport – June.12: Elahi, of Sparkhill, Birmingham, masqueraded as a stockbroker or rich businessman on sugar daddy websites: He singled out victims who were in debt or too young to legitimately be on the sites and tricked them into sending him naked or partially clothed images of themselves.
LONDON: Sadistic blackmailer and #paedophile admits 158 charges: Abdul Elahi pretended to be stockbroker and targeted nearly 2,000 people worldwide to commit sickening online sexual offences: He also targeted some victims on social media: He promised payment of thousands of pounds for posed images and sent fake screenshots of money leaving his account in similar transactions to convince victims.
Abdul Hasib Elahi, 26, admitted 158 offences:
blackmailed worldwide victims to horrifically abuse themselves, siblings and children;
sold the footage as ‘box sets’ to other offenders;
provided ‘master classes’ on the encrypted Telegram app to help paedophiles avoid detection;
and his victims were as young as eight months old.
The National Crime Agency investigation showed there were at least 196 victims in the UK and that he had contacted at least 600 people online in the UK.
Elahi had also tried to contact 1,367 women in the United States and there were also victims in 20 other countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The Agency worked with international partners to safeguard those Elahi had contacted.
As soon as possible, Elahi moved victims onto What’s App and away from the websites he met them on.
When he received enough revealing images he threatened to expose the pictures to the victims’ families and friends unless they sent more.
Elahi’s horrific offences included forcing victims to abuse themselves in sickening ways including self-mutilation, blackmailing women to send him footage of them abusing young children and making girls abuse siblings.
Some of the victims were so terrified they felt they had no choice but to comply.
Elahi systematically categorised all the abuse within cloud storage sites.
He then sold the content as ‘box sets’ through the cloud and via the encrypted app Telegram making more than £25,000.
That resulted in further misery for the victims, with their family and friends becoming aware, and often with more offenders trying to blackmail them again.
Unemployed Elahi admitted the charges – all committed between 1 January 2017 and 7 August 2020 – in separate hearings at Birmingham Crown Court over the last six months.
The charges include multiple counts of blackmail, disclosing private sexual films and photographs to cause distress, making and distributing indecent images of children, encouraging the sexual assault of children, sexually assaulting a boy, causing or inciting children to engage in sexual activity, fraud and possessing more than 65,000 indecent images of children (IIOC) – including babies being raped.
There were 79 victims on the indictment.
Their ages ranged from eight months to adults. Where they could be identified, all have been safeguarded.
Elahi’s guilty pleas can only now be publicised after reporting restrictions lapsed.
National Crime Agency officers arrested Elahi on 19 December 2018 following an allegation he was blackmailing a 15-year-old girl in America. His mobile phone and computers were seized and forensically examined.
The complex investigation involved work across multiple foreign jurisdictions. He was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service and remanded in August 2020.
Tony Cook, NCA Head of CSA operations, said: “The investigation team have been horrified by Elahi’s sadistic depravity and stunned by the industrial scale of his worldwide offending: Elahi sought sexual gratification from having power and control of his victims and he’s displayed zero empathy for them: He often goaded them to the point of wanting to kill themselves: The effects on the victims in this case will continue throughout the rest of their lives: I commend the victims for their bravery and I urge anyone who is being abused online to report it. There is help available: Sadly there are very many offenders like Elahi who mask their real identities with convincing personas to exploit both children and adults: I urge parents to speak with their children about who they communicate with online and what they share: People need to understand these offences can happen to anyone: Our investigation has sparked a series of other inquiries into Elahi’s associates and there is ongoing work to bring others to justice: We thank our international partners especially the FBI for the support given to us on this case.”
Sophie Mortimer, of the Revenge Porn Helpline, said: “We have been working with the National Crime Agency to remove the online content on behalf of the victims for over 18 months: We have managed to remove thousands of images but there is more outstanding and this work will continue for many months to come: This content is some of the most extreme that the Helpline has ever dealt with: It is not simply nudity or sexually graphic, it is violent, degrading and deeply harmful: The impact of the sharing of this content is devastating and life-changing and should not be underestimated.”…… A second defendant Kirsty Nicholls, 35, of Northolt, Middlesex, also admitted offences: She knew Elahi from a sugar daddy website and together they admitted two sexual assaults against a child and both admitted making indecent images of the child: She will be sentenced with Elahi on September 9 and 10 at Birmingham Crown Court.
Anybody who believes they may have been a victim of Elahi, or have information on his offending can contact the NCA at Op.Makedom@nca.gov.uk.