Police arrest 746 and seize more than £54,000,000 after hacking crime gangs

Police have arrested 746 suspects and seized more than £54million in one of the UK’s biggest operations.

A military-grade encrypted communication system used by organised criminals trading in drugs and guns was hacked in the international investigation.

Thousands of officers from the National Crime Agency, regional crime squads and every police force in the UK were involved in the massive sting that was launched in April.

After four years of work by teams across the world, French investigators managed to access Encrochat, an encrypted platform used by 60,000 people worldwide, including around 10,000 in the UK, for what law enforcement agencies claim were purely criminal purposes.

The NCA today confirmed the operation has resulted in the arrest of 746 alleged crime bosses and the seizure of 77 firearms, including an AK47 assault rifle, sub machine guns, handguns, four grenades, and over 1,800 rounds of ammunition.

More than two tonnes of Class A and B drugs have also been seized by police, as well as over 28million Etizolam – or Valium – pills from an illegal lab, 55 sports cars and 73 luxury watches.

This is a breaking story we will be updating.

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