16.02.23 – Eighteen arrested after £1.5m car thefts in London and home counties. Eighteen people have been arrested following police raids as part of an inquiry into the theft and sale of vehicles worth more than £1.5m. Met Police said the stolen cars included Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Land Rover and Range Rover models, taken across London, Essex and Hertfordshire. One of the cars had a baby inside that was then abandoned at the roadside. Ten people have been charged with various offences, including conspiracy to steal motor vehicles. The force said the thefts covered a four-year period and it had gathered intelligence for a year before the raids on 1 and 15 February. The arrested group included three women and 15 men, aged between 30 and 60.
17.02.23 – Organised crime group who imported hundreds of kilos of drugs from mainland Europe to sell from Lancashire warehouse jailed. An organised crime group who controlled the production, supply and importation of hundreds of kilos of amphetamine and cannabis from a warehouse in Lancashire have been jailed. The investigation started in 2021 after police attributed encrypted mobile phones to Zachariah Deaffern and co-defendant John Rowe. In March 2021, Deaffern’s home in Turncroft Road, Darwen, was searched. Police found £4,000 in cash, mobile phones, notebooks detailing massive sums of money and a gun, with tests proving this was a viable firearm.
17.02.23 – Birmingham man ran £22 million heroin smuggling operation through carrier bag shipments. A man who imported heroin with a potential street value of £22 million into the UK from Pakistan by hiding the drugs in boxes of plastic carrier bags has been jailed for 20 years. After two drugs consignments were intercepted at Heathrow Airport in February 2020, a National Crime Agency investigation found that Arfan Mirza, 42, of Common Lane in Birmingham, was behind the extensive drug smuggling enterprise. The consignments, listed as containing ‘shopping bags’ from Pakistan, were inspected by Border Force officers and found to contain a total of 20 kilos of heroin.
17.02.23 – Franco-Israeli gang behind EUR 38 million CEO fraud busted. A joint investigation supported by Europol has led to the dismantling of a Franco-Israeli criminal network involved in large-scale CEO fraud. The operation, led by France, involved the Croatian National Police (Hrvatska Policija), the Croatian Anti Money Laundering Office (Ured za sprječavanje pranja novca), the French National Police (Police Nationale), the French Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale), the Hungarian Budapest Metropolitan Police (Budapesti Rendőr-főkapitányság), the Israel Police (משטרת ישראל), the Portuguese Judicial Police (Policia Judiciaria) and the Spanish National Police (Policía National). The operational activities resulted in five action days, which took place between January 2022 and January 2023 in France and Israel.
18.02.23 – Mexico finds half-ton of meth, biggest seizure of year. The Mexican army said Friday it seized almost 1,400 liters of liquid methamphetamines and nearly a half-ton of solid crystal meth. The army called it the biggest seizure of meth this year. Troops found the drugs Thursday at a half-finished house in the town of Angostura, in the northern state of Sinaloa. The state is home to the drug cartel of the same name. Three suspects fled the scene and there were no arrests.