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More Than 740 Criminals Arrested In UK's Biggest Raid

More Than 740 Criminals Arrested In UK's Biggest Raid

Police have arrested 746 criminals and foiled hundreds of plots after a secret phone network was smashed.

All of the UK's police forces helped to seize £54 million of cash, two tonnes of drugs and 77 firearms, with dawn raids carried out simultaneously today across the country.

The sting spanned the globe, with the raids said to be a huge move in the fight against drugs, guns and crime.

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Police forces across the country were involved. Credit: Met Police
Police forces across the country were involved. Credit: Met Police

The two month operation saw officers sieze the illegal cash, as well as confiscate hand grenades and machine guns.

Operation Venetic saw the National Crime Agency and forces across Europe manage to crack a secure phone system called Enrochat. It's similar to WhatsApp but only comes pre-loaded onto phones that are engineered specially.

Scotland Yard said that of the 177 people taken into custody during the operation, 99 people have been charged so far. Raids have taken place in the following areas:

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  • Hullbridge, Essex
  • Basildon, Essex
  • South Woodham Ferrers, Essex
  • Liverpool
  • Birmingham
  • London
  • Oldham, Greater Manchester
  • Cleveland
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Aviemore
  • Blantyre
  • Larkhall
  • Whitburn
  • Johnstone
  • East Kilbride
  • Clydebank
  • Coatbridge
  • Renfrewshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Newry, Northern Ireland
  • Cardiff
  • Newport, South Wales
Arrests were made in Birmingham today. Credit: PA
Arrests were made in Birmingham today. Credit: PA

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Commissioner Cressida Dick said: "This operation is the most significant activity, certainly in my career, we have ever carried out against serious and organised criminality across London.

"Organised crime groups have used encrypted communications to enable their offending. They have openly discussed plots to murder, launder money, deal drugs and sell firearms capable of causing atrocious scenes in our communities. They were brazen and thought they were beyond the reach of the law.

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"Organised crime does not respect geographical boundaries. Those responsible for it adapt quickly and take advantage of every opportunity.

Credit: Met Police
Credit: Met Police
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"This operation has enabled us to target those at the top of the hierarchy and individuals we have known about for years but have not been able to tackle head on.

"This offending has a direct impact on our communities - those involved appear to have an air of respectability, but their actions leave a trail of misery and are inextricably linked to the violent scenes we see play out on our streets.

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"Our investigators, intelligence analysts, firearms officers, Territorial Support Group and our local officers have worked day and night over the past two months to progress our investigations as part of this operation.

 A Scorpion machine gun seized under Operation Venetic. Credit: Met Police
A Scorpion machine gun seized under Operation Venetic. Credit: Met Police

"Through this work with our international partners, we have significantly developed our understanding of organised criminality in London and the ways in which some of our most prolific and dangerous offenders operate.

"This is just the beginning, there are many more people we are investigating. We know who they are and we have seen what they are doing and who they are doing it with. We will not rest until they have seen justice."

Featured Image Credit: Met Police

Topics: UK News

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Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. After a few years working on festivals and events, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]