09.05.23 – Money laundering and people smuggling network dismantled by the NCA. Sixteen people have been convicted following a major National Crime Agency investigation into a West London-based organised crime group involved in international money laundering and people smuggling. Members of the network smuggled in excess of £42 million in cash out of the UK, making hundreds of trips to Dubai, UAE, between 2017 and 2019. NCA investigators believe the money was profit from the sale of class A drugs and organised immigration crime.
10.05.23 – Operation Venetic: Prison for ringleader of gang which ran £10 million a month drugs lab. The kingpin of an organised crime group that controlled one of the largest amphetamine laboratories ever found in the UK has been jailed for 18 years. National Crime Agency investigators identified encrypted messaging platform EncroChat was being used to run the lab near Redditch – capable of producing 400 kilos of amphetamine per month, worth £2 million at wholesale and up to £10 million at street level. The crime group would then distribute the drugs to dealers in the West Midlands, London and Kent.
11.05.23 – Underworld ‘co-working’ space shut down in Antwerp. The Antwerp Local Police in Belgium and Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil), supported by Europol, have targeted a criminal network involved in cannabis and cocaine trafficking and money laundering. The alleged members of this family-structured criminal group, based in Antwerp, were already known for multiple criminal activities including organised burglaries, firearms trafficking, money counterfeiting, and several forms of drug trafficking.
11.05.23 – 21 jailed for 165 years and seven months on drugs and firearm offences after major Warwickshire Police operation. Twenty-one members of an organised crime group who trafficked drugs from Merseyside to Warwickshire, West Midlands, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire have been jailed for a combined total of 165 years and seven months. Throughout the investigation officers seized drugs with a street value of £1.3million and £10,000 in cash as well as 15 firearms and associated ammunition. In summing up, the judge estimated the gang transported 60kg of class A drugs during the period investigated.
12.05.23 – Balkans’ biggest drug lords arrested after investigation into encrypted pones. On 11 May, coordinated raids were carried out in Serbia and the Netherlands, targeting both the cartel’s leadership and distribution infrastructure. Seven other members of this criminal organisation were already arrested in Belgium in 2021. Two individuals were previously arrested for other offences in Serbia and Peru. Another suspect was arrested in the Netherlands on 8 May 2023. A total of 23 individuals have been arrested, including the 3 leaders of this criminal organisation, considered as High Value Targets by Europol.