United Kingdom

Two men charged after police seize £400,000 worth of cocaine

Two men have been charged with conspiracy to import £40,000 worth of cocaine as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into drug smuggling. 

The class A drugs were discovered inside boxes of whey protein powder by Border Force officers at London Gateway Parcel Hub in January.  

Jack Betram Fallom, 31, from Olveston, Bristol, and Arron James Collins, 34, from Withywood, Bristol, were arrested on Friday in connection with the seizure of five kilos of cocaine.

Their arrests are linked to Operation Venetic, the UK investigation into the EncroChat encrypted messaging platform.

The £40,000 worth of cocaine was discovered inside boxes of whey protein powder by Border Force officers at London Gateway Parcel Hub in January

The agency said Fallon was charged with conspiracy to import class A drugs and failure to comply with an order to provide officers with access to his phone.

Meanwhile Collins has been charged with conspiracy to import class A drugs and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

The NCA said both appeared at Worle Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning, where they were remanded to appear at Bristol Crown Court on November 23.

A third man, aged 33, was arrested in September in connection with the seizure and was released under investigation. 

The arrests come just months after UK police forces captured 746 crooked kingpins, £54 million of dirty cash, two tonnes of drugs and 77 firearms after the impenetrable phone network called EncroChat, in an operation dubbed Operation Venetic, was smashed.     

Two men have been charged with conspiracy to import the cocaine as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into drug smuggling

On Twitter, the National Crime Agency revealed that the two men were now being questioned

Criminals paid £1,500 for a six month contract to use the system and could send a 'kill code text' which wiped everything on the customised Android handset. 

During the two-month operation, which was made possible after the NCA and European forces managed to get inside the secure phone system, officers seized the illegal cash along with firearms including hand grenade and machine guns.  

Experts in France and the Netherlands infiltrated the illegal communication network, which helped them understand what crimes gangs were planning. 

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