#AceNewsReport – July.29: The 32-year-old tried to start a conversation and following a verbal altercation he first lashed out and punched the man to the floor. He then repeatedly kicked the man, aged 20, who was on the ground….
#AceDailyNews reports that a thug has been jailed over savage street attack after Sebastiojonas Busauskas approached the pair, who were not known to him, in Trinity Street, Coventry, during the early hours of 7 September 2019.
Busauskas, of Coundon Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty to inflicting grevious bodily harm and assault and was sentenced to four years in prison at Leamington Justice Centre Crown Court on Monday (19 July).
The 19-year-old woman tried to stop the attack but he then assaulted her, causing her to also lose consciousness: Two members of the public rushed over to intervene and managed to detain Busauskas ahead of officers arriving.
PC Mark Jervis, from force CID at Coventry, said: “This was a savage and senseless attack on two people he’d never even met before. There can be no justification for such violence: Thankfully, the victims were not seriously injured despite both losing consciousness for a while. It could have been a lot worse if the brave members of the public hadn’t stepped in and detained him.”
#AceNewsReport – July.28: The legal action was started in March after the UK took unilateral action to change the implementation of the protocol: At that time the UK delayed new checks on food, parcels and pets entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
#AceDailyNews says ……Brexit Next: EU pauses legal action against UK over NI Protocol ‘breaches’ it said it was doing so to create the “necessary space” to consider UK proposals for reforming the deal.
By John Campbell BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor
The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed by the UK and EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
It does that by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
That has created a new trade border in the Irish Sea, causing some difficulties in moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Last week, the UK published proposals for the protocol, which amounted to a request for a major renegotiation.
It also asked for a standstill period, which would involve pausing the legal action and extending so-called grace periods.
The EU has already said it will not renegotiate the protocol but will “consider any proposals that respect the principles” of the deal.
However, it has not ruled out the standstill period.
A European Commission spokesperson said: “With regards to the request for a standstill, the commission will carefully assess the new proposals made by the UK, in accordance with the necessary consultation procedures, both internally and with the European Parliament.
“In order to provide the necessary space to reflect on these issues and find durable solutions to the implementation of the protocol, we have decided at this stage not to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure, started in March.”
A government spokesperson said they had received a “constructive reply from the Commission”.
“We look forward to engaging in talks with the EU in the weeks ahead to progress the proposals in our command paper,” they added.
“As we set out in the Command Paper last week, significant changes are needed to ensure the Protocol is sustainable for future.”
#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.20: A group of Western countries had accused China of hacking Microsoft Exchange – a popular email platform used by companies worldwide…..
#AceSecurityDesk reports that Microsoft Exchange: Cyberattack was China taking advantage of the email vulnerabilityin January but Chinese authorities slam ‘groundless’ hacking claims…..but ‘Five Eyes’ says they provide a ‘Clear & Present Danger’ …….
The Five Eyes – The Intelligence Alliance of the Anglosphere bringing together the group brings the UK, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand into the world’s most complete and comprehensive intelligence alliance.
The Five Eyes (FVEY) is widely regarded as the world’s most significant intelligence alliance. The origins of it can be traced back to the context of the Second World War and by its necessity of sharing vital information mainly between Britain and the United States so both countries could enhance their close war effort.
The Five Eyes was formally founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, through the multilateral agreement for co-operation in signals intelligence (SIGINT), known as the UKUSA Agreement, on 5 March 1946.
Initially, compromising only the UK and the United States, it expanded to also include Canada in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, all of these last three English-speaking countries, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and with similar political systems when compared to Britain. Thereby, the ‘Five Eyes’ term was created from the lengthy ‘AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/ Eyes Only’ classification level that included the ‘eyes’ that could have access to high profile papers and information.
The joint statement accused the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) of undermining global stability and security.
China has always maintained that it opposes all forms of cyber-crime.
On Monday, New Zealand joined the group of countries including the UK, US and Australia in blaming Chinese state-sponsored actors for “malicious cyber activity” in the country, including the Microsoft attack.
The Chinese Embassy in Wellington called the accusations “groundless and irresponsible”.
“Making accusations without [proof] is malicious.”
The Chinese embassy in Australia echoed these remarks, describing Washington as “the world champion of malicious cyber attacks”.
A scaled up attack
The Microsoft hack affected at least 30,000 organisations globally.
The Exchange system powers the email of major corporations, small businesses and public bodies worldwide.
Microsoft blamed a Chinese cyber-espionage group for exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange – which allowed hackers to remotely access email inboxes.
The group, known as Hafnium, was found by Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Centre to be state-sponsored and operating out of China.
Western security sources believe Hafnium obtained advance knowledge that Microsoft intended to patch or close the vulnerability, and so shared it with other China-based groups to maximise the benefit before it became obsolete.
“We believe that cyber-operators working under the control of Chinese intelligence learned about the Microsoft vulnerability in early January, and were racing to exploit the vulnerability before [it] was widely identified in the public domain,” a security source told the BBC and China accused of cyber-attack on Microsoft
The hack signalled a shift from a targeted espionage campaign to a smash-and-grab raid, leading to concerns Chinese cyber-behaviour is escalating, according to Western security services.
The UK Foreign Office said the Chinese government had “ignored repeated calls to end its reckless campaign, instead allowing state-backed actors to increase the scale of their attacks and act recklessly when caught”.
The White House said it reserved the right to take additional action against China over its cyber activities.
US President Joe Biden told reporters that the Chinese government may not have been carrying out the attacks themselves, but were ” protecting those who are doing it. And maybe even accommodating them being able to do it.”
The US Department of Justice has also announced criminal charges against four MSS hackers which it said were linked to a long-term campaign targeting foreign governments and entities in key sectors in a least a dozen countries.Nato warns cyber attacks could result in a military land incursion from allies
#AceNewsReport – July.19: The operator informs customers that “we’ll be in touch closer to the time to inform you of the date when your SIM will stop working” (oh.. how nice), although the only real options open to those impacted by this will be to either adopt one of Virgin Mobiles Pay Month plans or switch to a different network operator. If you’d rather not wait around, then you can give them a call first on 789 to discuss your options.
#AceDailyNews says Virgin Mobile UK Moves to Scrap Pay As You Go Packages UPDATE Customers of Virgin Mobile’s (Virgin Media) Pay As You Go (PAYG) plans have been informed that the service is “ending” and it will be gradually phased out between October 2021 and January 2022. During this period, customers will find that their SIM “will stop working … if you don’t take any action.” Talk about harsh ……ring 789 on your mobile to discuss options ….
“We regularly review our offerings to make sure we’re meeting our customers’ needs and usage. After careful review, we’ve decided to close our Pay As You Go services and focus on providing even greater Pay Monthly plans. You have at least 3 months to switch to Pay Monthly or request your PAC, after we have notified you,” said the operator.
In fairness, the move isn’t all that surprising, particularly when you consider that Virgin Media’s prepaid (PAYG) mobile base has collapsed to 123,500 (March 2021) customers from 233,400 a year ago.
One slight irony of this is that Virgin Mobile states that their “friends at O2 offer a great Pay As You Go service” that you can switch to, which is a fascinating thing to say given that Virgin Media just merged with O2 and in a few years’ time O2 will replace Vodafone as the service provider for Virgin Mobile (assuming they retain their individual branding).
“Don’t forget to use up your credit up before our Pay As You Go service ends or request a refund for any leftover credit,” added the operator. Thanks very much. Credits to Dafydd for helping to spot this development.
We’ve had a comment from Virgin Media (VMO2).
A Spokesperson for Virgin Media told ISPreview.co.uk:
“We regularly review our products and services to ensure our offering reflects our customers’ needs and best supports their usage.
Over the last few years, we have seen a 75% reduction in active Pay As You Go use, so have decided to close our Pay As You Go services and focus on providing even greater Pay Monthly and SIM only plans.
Customers impacted by this change will be notified in a clear, timely way and will be offered an alternative Pay Monthly plan or the option to switch provider.”
#AceNewsReport – July.09: The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning the public to be vigilant of scam calls that appear to be coming from numbers similar to their own. Commonly, the first seven digits (07nnnnn) match the victim’s own number. The calls impersonate well-known government organisations, or law enforcement agencies, and will ask the recipient of the call to “press 1” in order to speak with an advisor, or police officer, about unpaid fines or police warrants.
#AceDailyNews reports over a WARNING to the public about scam calls from “matching” mobile phone numbers similar to their own. Commonly, the first seven digits (07nnnnn) match the victim’s own number.
The calls impersonate well-known government organisations, or law enforcement agencies, and will ask the recipient of the call to “press 1” in order to speak with an advisor, or police officer, about unpaid fines or police warrants.
New warning from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB)
In May 2021, Action Fraud received 2,110 scam call reports where the caller’s number matched the first seven digits of the victim’s own phone number. Of these, 1,426 (68%) referred to HMRC or National Insurance.
Victims have also reported receiving these types of calls, and messaging, via widely-used messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.
Protect yourself – What you need to do
Government and law enforcement agencies will not notify you about unpaid fines or outstanding police warrants by calling or texting you. Do not respond to any calls or texts you receive about these.
Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or your personal information, it could prevent you from falling victim to fraud. Remember, it’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding the message to 7726. It’s free of charge.
#AceNewsReport – July.06: The 21-year-old began his campaign of sexual assaults in March 2019.
#AceDailyNews reports that serial rapist Esa Juwara has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 18 years in jail following the sentence at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (2 July).
COURT NOTES: Juwara, of Lighthorne Avenue, Ladywood, was convicted on all charges in May. He was picked out by three victims in ID parades and matched the descriptions given by the other two: DNA evidence from a sixth victim also linked him to the offences, however she did not wish to make a complaint, but did give evidence in court:
CASE NOTES: He approached his first victim on Reservoir Road on his pushbike in the early hours of 10 March: When she refused his advances, he grabbed her and threatened her with a knife but fortunately her friends heard her screams and as they came running, Juwara made off.Esa Juwara will serve a minimum of 18 years: In July of the same year: Juwara attacked another sex worker on Ladywood Road. She also refused his advances so he punched her and hit her repeatedly with a bike chain. She managed to escape but was left with a loose tooth, which subsequently fell out, and bruises: Three months later Juwara accosted the same victim again in Icknield Port Road: This time she was unable to fight him off as he punched her repeatedly and raped her:
Juwara went on to rape another sex worker on two separate occasions in November and December, again with the same level of violence, and another was attacked twice in December – the first time saved by members of the public, but threatened with a knife and raped on the second occasion:
A fifth woman was attacked in Chamberlain Gardens by Juwara with his bike chain around her neck: She passed out for a short time and awoke to find him raping her, before passers-by came to her rescue and Juwara made off: The women provided good descriptions, which helped our investigations to trace the man responsible. In January, plain clothes police officers were on patrol in Ladywood Park when they spotted a man on a bike matching the description of the offender. As they moved in to arrest him, he threatened a female officer with his bike chain. CS spray was discharged, but he made off. Fortunately, officers nearby were able to detain him.
Detective Inspector Dave Bates, from our Public Protection Unit, said: “The bravery of these women in coming forward is immense. They suffered such utterly degrading and violent crimes, yet found the courage to report them to us and give a detailed description of their attacker, helping us to catch him. They also had to relive their terror as they gave evidence in court.
“I commend the outreach programmes who supported them through their ordeals.
“They can be incredibly proud that they have prevented further attacks on more women as there is no doubt in my mind that Juwara would have continued his offending.”
#AceNewsReport – July.04: Police are urging parents, guardians and children to be vigilant after two children have fallen ill after eating sweets suspected of containing cannabis.
#AceDailyNews reports that police urge vigilance after children in Wallasey consume cannabis sweets the incident was reported just before 1.10pm today (Friday 2 July) that two 13-year-old schoolboys in Wallasey had eaten the sweets and fallen ill, while two others had tasted them and two children were taken to hospital remain there under observation and the remaining sweets have been seized by officers.
Detective Sergeant Nick Glascott-Tull said: “We’re pleased to have removed these drugs from the community, and will continue to investigate this and similar incidents: Worryingly, these drugs are clearly designed to appeal to younger people. We are asking that all parents and carers are vigilant if coming across them, and ensure they don’t not get into the hands of children as they could be mistaken for ordinary sweets: While we believe these sweets contain cannabis, there is no way for people to be sure what other chemicals or drugs could be contained in a product being sold illegally, which could lead to side effects, serious illness or worse: If you see drugs similar to those pictured, or have any information, come forward and we will do the rest.”
If you have information about suspected storage or supply of drugs, please contact us via our social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’.
You can also pass information anonymously via the independent charity @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website here: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously
Hong Kong however confirmed its first local Delta variant only last week, ending a 16-day streak of zero local cases.
The city has had some of the strictest border curbs in the world since 2020, which helped to keep infections numbers low throughout the entire pandemic.
Officials said the city recently recorded a growing number of Delta variant cases in people arriving from the UK, who like all incoming travellers have to quarantine.
According to news agency Reuters, parents in Hong Kong with children who are studying in the UK have reacted with shock that they would now be stranded abroad.
Reuters: Throughtout the pandemic, Hong Kong has managed to keep cases low
The 1 July flight ban is the second time Hong Kong has stopped arrivals from Britain after a ban from December 2020 until May of this year.
Hong Kong already bars flights from several other countries over rising cases of the Delta strain, including Indonesia, India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The UK government said it “restricts the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration”.From protests to ‘patriots’: Why China is bent on crushing Hong Kong dissent
#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.”
#AceHealthReport – June.22: Entrust, an IT firm that bills itself as a “global leader in identities, payments, and data protection,” was awarded a contract by the Department of Health and Social Care last month to work on the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine certificate system.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – ‘UK govt gave contract to IT firm that is ‘openly plotting’ to turn vaccine passports into a national ID card, privacy group warns but opening up society after #COVID19 will come at a cost’
21 Jun, 2021 10:35 / Updated 2 hours ago
The company was given £250,000 ($346,000) to provide cloud-computing services for the government’s Covid-status certification scheme, iNews reported. The contract is due to expire in March 2022, but the government has the option of extending it for an additional year.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated last month that proof of vaccination will be “necessary” for international travel, and in recent weeks reports have emerged claiming that the UK government may require the document of people attending sporting events or other large gatherings.
“Consider a national ID strategy: With the infrastructure and investment necessary to ensure a viable vaccine passport, why not redeploy this effort into a national citizen ID programme that can be used for multiple purposes including the secure delivery of government services, secure cross-border travel, and documentation of vaccination,” the blog, which explores vaccine passports in the “post-pandemic world,” states.
Notably, the US-based company has already helped Albania, Ghana and Malaysia deploy national ID systems, iNews said.
Entrust’s partnership with the UK government has already raised alarm among civil liberties organisations and lawmakers.
Tory MP David Davis, a member of the anti-lockdown Covid Recovery Group, demanded an explanation from the government. He told iNews that it was “extraordinary” that the health department could ink deals with such companies without first getting permission from Parliament, adding that it was particularly worrying that a contract could be given to a firm “with this sinister attitude to surveillance of citizens.”
Big Brother Watch, a privacy and civil liberties group, said the Entrust contract represents an attempt by the government to issue ID cards “by the backdoor.”
“The fact that the government has done a deal with Entrust, a company which is openly plotting a route from vaccine passports to digital identity cards, only underlines what a serious threat Covid passes would be to our civil liberties and our privacy,” the organisation’s head of research, Jake Hurfurt, warned.
A health department spokesperson insisted that the NHS app used to certify vaccination status will not be used as a national ID system, describing the scheme as a “simple and secure means” to allow for international travel. Entrust declined to comment when contacted by iNews.
#AceHealthReport – June.19: From 1 September 2021 all #COVID19 molecular and antigen tests available to purchase will require validation prior to sale on the UK market under new draft legislation set out today,
GOVUK Sets out laws to validate accuracy of private #COVID19 tests bringing them in line with #NHS Test & Trace test standards.
All private COVID-19 tests released onto UK market will need to meet a revised set of standards in line with those used by government
Regular and accurate testing is at the heart of the government’s roadmap out of the pandemic
The government already has rigorous safety measures in place for all PCR and LFD tests provided through NHS Test and Trace, and for all tests used for international travel.
The new legislation will help consumers who choose to use private tests by giving them clear, comparable information so they can confidently choose a test in a rapidly expanding market.
The proposed laws will mean all private tests must pass through a new rigorous and efficient validation process to guarantee they will give reliable results. This will ensure that all COVID-19 tests available on the UK market meet one uniform standard.
This validation process is in addition to the existing UKAS accreditation scheme launched in December 2020, which ensures that private test providers meet the uniform minimum standards to provide testing services. UKAS accreditation has focused on the services of tests providers whereas validation will focus on ensuring there are minimum standards for the test products used as well.
Under the new scheme, all private testing suppliers will need to go through the validation process ahead of selling tests, bringing them into line with NHS Test & Trace standards. Providers who fail to meet required minimum standards will incur penalties. Retailers, distributors and manufacturers who attempt to sell unvalidated tests could face punitive sanctions based on the current regulatory requirements for medical devices.
Parliamentary Undersecretary for Health and Social Care Lord Bethell said:
British innovation and ingenuity allowed us to rapidly produce tests capable of quickly spotting COVID-19 outbreaks.
We now complete millions of tests across the country every week and these new laws will provide businesses and consumers with a common set of high standards, like those used in the NHS, as we battle this virus.
Testing has helped children to return to the classroom and reunited us with our friends and loved ones. I know reliable tests will continue to play a critical role as we continue to work towards resuming normal life.
The UK has built an international reputation for COVID-19 testing: The combined work of the public sector and private sector has enabled the development of the largest diagnostics network in UK history and implementation of testing for international arrivals into the UK. At border control alone over 350,0000 have been conducted which require independent validation of the test product performance which is needed before tests are approved for borders testing. They also set higher thresholds for performance given the specific use case and need for greater accuracy.
To grow the private market for testing, it is imperative that tests can be relied upon, and the government recognises that the testing market needs to be well regulated so it can keep pace with the evolving COVID-19 situation: These new laws will aim to facilitate and empower that market and bring it in line with Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) procurement standards:
The DHSC has previously consulted with industry on the new proposals, listening to advice on how to provide safe reliable tests and how to ensure a world leading regulatory process in the future: The consultation looked at the performance of all tests sold on the UK market to mirror standards used in NHS Test and Trace, whether purchased in the UK or overseas. It set out proposals for a UK-wide policy on the design of the validation process, the fees regime and the proposed enforcement approach:
Separately, the DHSC is also publishing a threshold paper setting out performance expectations for testing for #COVID19 ……..The performance thresholds set out in this paper [link] are used as the framework for the new laws on the validation of tests:
Over the course of the last year, it has developed and adjusted these thresholds based on evolving scientific data, which has then informed internal policy decisions as the response to #COVID19 has evolved during this time.
Producers of tests currently on the market will need to apply for validation by 1st September 2021 and have passed successfully by 31 October 2021 in order to continue selling tests past 31 October 2021. Tests currently supplied to the NHS under DHSC procurement will be exempted in recognition of prior equivalent assessment.
#AceNewsReport – June.16: Jack Stanley Jones, 27, of Hey Park in Huyton, used the encrochat handle ‘feralwhale, and was jailed for 16-and-a-half years for playing a leading role in drug importation, which saw police seize 18kg of cocaine concealed in children’s Duplo boxes of lego:
He pleaded guilty to:
– Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Controlled Drug – Cocaine – Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Controlled Drug – Heroin – Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Controlled Drug – MDMA – Conspiracy to Supply a Class B Controlled Drug – Cannabis – Conspiracy to Supply a Class B Controlled Drug – Methamphetamine – Importation of a Class A controlled drugs into UK – Importation of a Class B controlled drug into UK – Conspiracy to produce cannabis – Conspiracy to convert criminal property
Venetic Investigation contuness From building blocks to cell blocks after three Liverpool men jailed for Encrochat drugs crimes
Officers gathered evidence from encro devices showing that Jones was involved in the importation and supply over 50kg of Class A drugs, multi-kilogram quantities of cannabis, and kilograms of MDMA. His encrypted messages revealed he was also making plans for the importation and transportation of large quantities of drugs via planes and boats, as well as via the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
During the investigation, police recovered a total of 18kg of high purity cocaine from parcels which arrived in the UK from Holland, to Merseyside addresses linked to Jones. The wholesale value of the recovered cocaine was between £612,000 and £720,000 and the potential street value was up to £1,800,000.
Jones’ encrochat revealed his drug importation deals into the UK would make he and his associates “millers (millionnaires) in waiting” and “multimillionaires in a few months“.
Isaac Rasmussen, 28, from Heath Road Widnes, previously from the Huyton area used the encro handle ‘Intimatemode’. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiring to fraudulently evade a prohibition on the import of Class A drugs, and conspiring to fraudulently evade a prohibition on the import of Class B drugs. He has been jailed for 10 years.
Rasmussen was a trusted confidant of Jack Jones, having met in the Royal Navy where they were in the same regiment from 2009. The pair set up a courier transport company – named 998 after their Royal Marines troop number. During a search of Rasmussen’s Widnes home, police later found a photograph of their troop from the Commando Training Centre in 2009, which dated their association back to their Royal Navy days.
Rasmussen’s role also included collecting payment from the sale of the kilograms of cocaine that he and Jack Jones had imported into the UK. He admitted using his home address for the delivery of two imported drugs packages – the second of which was 6kg of high purity cocaine concealed in children’s Duplo boxes.
Paul Jones, 43, of Lincombe Road Roby, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, possession of cannabis, possession of criminal property, conspiring to fraudulently evade a prohibition on the import of Class A drugs. Jones allowed his home to be used for the delivery and storage of drugs packages from Holland – of which two were recovered by police and totalled over 12kg of high purity cocaine. He has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
Around 60,000 users of encrochat have now been identified worldwide, with about 10,000 of them in the UK – all involved in coordinating and planning the supply and distribution of drugs and weapons, money laundering and other criminal activity. Arrests are continuing across Merseyside as part of the operation.
Detective Inspector Lee Wilkinson said: “It is a brilliant result to see three more dangerous drugs criminals locked up as part of national Operation Venetic.
“The potential dangers of this enterprise were demonstrated further when one of their imported boxes containing a kilogram of high purity cocaine found its way into the hands of a young child who was mistakenly given it as a present, packaged in a Duplo lego box. It was only by fortune that one of the parents of the child opened the box and discovered the contents. The police were then called to recover the item.
“Despite Jack Jones’ boasts that they would soon be multimillionaires, their dreams of building a living – and a drugs empire – by bringing misery to our communities have now come crashing down around them.
“As part of Operation Venetic, Merseyside Police has so far arrested more than 125 people, many of whom have been charged with serious drug trafficking and firearms offences. More offenders will continue to appear before the courts, and with every one brought to justice our streets are made safer form the harm they can bring.
“Our message to other people who are involved in this type of criminality is clear: expect that knock at the door sooner rather than later.
“Merseyside Police will continue to be relentless and leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of those involved in serious organised crime in order to protect our communities.”
#AceNewsReport – June.13: Emergency services attended and the victim was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries: The suspect was reported to have made off from the scene with two females on foot in the direction of Linacre Road.
Merseyside Officers Appeal for information following stabbing in Litherland at around 8.10am on Saturday after they received a report that a man had been stabbed on Webster Street by another male.
Detectives have opened a full investigation, including house-to-house, witness and CCTV enquiries.
The suspect is described as white, aged between 20 and 25, approximately 5ft 8in tall, of medium build with white hair and wearing a grey tracksuit and green trousers.
The weapon used in the attack, believed to be a kitchen knife, has been recovered on Lawler Street, Litherland.
Officers remain in the area while enquiries are carried out and are urging anyone with any information to come forward.
Detective Inspector Mike Dalton said: “We are carrying out extensive enquiries into an attack on Webster Street this morning and we are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information about the whereabouts of the man described: This was an appalling incident and will have been extremely shocking for the community to witness. We will be doing all we can to find the man responsible and bring him to justice: The use of weapons is reckless and intolerable, and can have devastating consequences, not only for the victim and their family but also the offender: Tell us what you know about this incident and we’ll take positive action to remove those who use weapons to cause fear and harm in our communities from our streets.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact us via our social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ with reference 21000410463: You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.
#AceNewsReport – June.12: One person in their work bubble provided a positive lateral flow test on Friday morning: The team were being accommodated on a ferry in Falmouth, but have since been moved to a designated isolation area.
G7 Summit: Officer staying on ferry tests positive for #COVID19 that is being held in Carbis Bay in more than 4,000 rooms in separate accommodation, such as hotels, that were also booked by the police force: Devon and Cornwall Police said the next stage is for those with positive results to undertake a PCR test.
20 hours ago
A spokesperson added: “As part of our testing regime, during the early hours of 11 June one officer who is currently supporting G7 policing and accommodated on the ferry, has given a positive lateral flow test for #COVID19: The officer, plus those who have come into close contact, are currently self-isolating at another designated location: We are continuing to follow the advice of Public Health England.”
More than 5,000 officers, on top of 1,500 from the force, are helping police the summit of world leaders.
The first contingent of officers left for Cornwall from Scotland on Sunday morning
Police had hired a cruise ship to accommodate officers working during the summit………
#AceNewsReport – June.12: The Crown Prosecution Service has now authorised charges of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration, and they will appear before Southend Magistrates later today:
NCA Update: Three charged in investigation into Harwich fishing boat people smuggling event: The trio, Arturas Jusas, aged 34, a Lithuanian national of Wandsworth Road, Lambeth; Kfir Ivgi, 32, an Israeli national living in Corrigan Close, Finchley; and Sergejs Kuliss, 39, of Hartlake Road, Tonbridge in Kent, were detained by officers in a series of raids yesterday [8 June].
Update: 09 June 2021
The operation follows the interception of the fishing boat Svanic off the coast of East Anglia on 17 November last year, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.
The boat had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers.
It was escorted into Harwich where the three crew, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration. They were subsequently charged.
08 June 2021
Three men have been arrested in London and the south east as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the attempted smuggling of 69 Albanian migrants into the UK on board a fishing vessel in November 2020.
The trio, a 34-year-old Lithuanian national living in Lambeth, a 32-year-old Israeli national living in Finchley and a 39-year-old Latvian national living in Kent, were detained by NCA officers in a series of raids this morning.
They are now being questioned on suspicion of attempting to facilitate illegal immigration.
The arrests follow the interception of the fishing boat Svanic off the coast of East Anglia on 17 November last year, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.
The boat had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers, who were offloaded in Harwich to be dealt with by the immigration authorities.
The three crew members, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and were subsequently charged.
NCA Regional Head of Investigation Jacque Beer said: Those arrested today are suspected of having played a key role in the events which led up to the interception of the Svanic in November last year: This was a serious attempt to breach the UK’s border controls, and our investigation into that incident continues: But today’s activity once again demonstrates our determination to disrupt and dismantle people smuggling networks wherever they are operating. It is a key priority for the NCA.”
#AceNewsReport – June.12: Three people were arrested on suspicion of possession of an article with intent to commit criminal damage and four were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance:
The vehicles were stopped at Loggans Road in Hayle at around 17:00 BST on Thursday.
Those arrested were a 30-year-old man from London, a 21-year-old woman from Wales, and a 20-year-old man from Bournemouth, all on suspicion of possession of an article with intent to commit criminal damage.
Two men from London aged 25 and 27, a 45-year-old woman from London and a 26-year-old woman from Epsom were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they remained in police custody, while the items and the vehicles had been seized.
A spokesman said: “We continue to support the facilitation of safe and legal protest but criminal activity and public disorder will not be tolerated.”
World leaders have travelled to Cornwall for the talks, which start on Friday, with vaccines and climate change on the agenda.
#AceNewsReport – June.10: The 26-year-old man was found by a relative just before 6.30pm at his home in Scott Road: He had significant head injuries and sadly nothing could be done to save him.
BIRMINGHAM: Murder investigation launched in Solihull and a post mortem examination will take place tomorrow morning (9 June) as enquiries are continuing – including a forensic examination of the scene – we’re also speaking to people in the area and trawling through CCTV.
8th June 2021
Detective Inspector Jim Mahon, from our homicide team, said: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who sadly lost his life yesterday: “ Our investigation continues today at pace as we strive to understand more about what happened yesterday: I’d like to thank everyone we’ve already spoken to, you’ve been extremely helpful and we’ve recovered lots of CCTV which we’re working through: “ I’d urge anyone who may have information, but not yet contacted us to get in touch.”
Chief Superintendent Ian Parnell, from Solihull police, said: “It’s heart-breaking to hear of the loss of such a young man. I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones at this shocking and very sad time: “ I understand the pain and concern tragedies like this cause the wider community. We’ve increased patrols in the area, please do speak to us if you have any issues: “ We’re doing all we can to find those responsible, I’d encourage anyone who may know what happened to contact us as soon as they can.”
If you have information please contact us via live chat on our website or call 101 quoting log number 3778 of 7 June.
The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs in 2018 under EU-wide rules.
Now retailers will no longer be able to sell most remaining halogen bulbs, such as kitchen spotlights.
Legislation for the plans is being brought forward this month by the government.
The plan will help continue the shift to low-energy LED lightbulbs, which account for about two-thirds of lights now sold in Britain.
It is expected to mean LEDs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030, officials said.
LED lights last five times longer than traditional halogen bulbs and produce the same amount of light, but use up to 80% less power.
To help people to choose the most efficient lightbulbs, changes to the energy labels that consumers see on bulb packaging are being brought in, with the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings abandoned and efficiency graded between A-G, with only the most efficient bulbs given an A rating.
LED bulbs could be incorporated into the fluorescent light fittings as a more energy-efficient alternative, officials said.
Legislation will also include moves to phase out high-energy fluorescent lightbulbs – such as strip lights commonly found in offices – with a view to bringing an end to their sale from September 2023.
There was a time when the humble light bulb became the centre of a political storm over “green madness”.
The EU had announced a ban on old-fashioned incandescent bulbs – the ones that give off more heat than light and use a lot of electricity in the process.
It was a move that led to a campaign of resistance with one newspaper even giving away the bulbs to encourage their use.
But this latest move – the final step in ending sales of halogen lights – comes in very different times.
Many types of halogen bulbs were already banned several years ago, so this is a tightening of the screw on energy waste rather than a massive upheaval.
But it does provide another signal that if the UK is to meet its promises to tackle the heating of the climate, every sector of the economy – in fact almost every aspect of our lives – will have to see some kind of change.
The cut in carbon emissions as a result of the new rules is the equivalent of removing more than half a million cars from the UK’s roads, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy said.
It is part of a package of measures which it says will save consumers money and includes the right to get goods repaired, new energy labels and higher efficiency standards for white goods, TVs and other appliances.
Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We’re phasing out old inefficient halogen bulbs for good, so we can move more quickly to longer-lasting LED bulbs, meaning less waste and a brighter and cleaner future for the UK.
“By helping ensure electrical appliances use less energy but perform just as well, we’re saving households money on their bills and helping tackle climate change.”
Stephen Rouatt, chief executive of Signify UK, which owns Philips lighting, said: “Using energy-efficient LED equivalents for halogen and fluorescent lighting on an even broader scale will significantly help the UK on its journey to decarbonisation, as well as lowering the annual electricity bills for consumers.”
For higher wattage bulbs, consumers should be able to perform a straight switch to LEDs. But for lower wattage fittings, which use transformers, LED bulbs may not work and might require a new transformer to be fitted.