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Fools of #Encrochat: Major drug dealers jailed after mistakenly thinking messaging app was encrypted


Three drug dealers who flooded the streets with heroin and cocaine have been jailed for a total of 32 years.

Royal Eastwood, 38, Dakarai Thomas, 37, and Zadengel Raphael, 41, were all caught after using phone messaging service EncroChat which they mistakenly thought the police could not trace.

Unbeknown to them, and thousands of other crooks using the service, law enforcement agencies in Europe had developed a technique to collect data from EncroChat.

Information was sent to detectives who identified that users going under the handles “Moralracer” and “Regentcliff” were attributed to Eastwood and Thomas.

In the messages they discussed making arrangements to supply kilogram weights of heroin and cocaine for between £37,000 and £40,000 to other EncroChat users in London and the South East.

Police arrested Eastwood in July last year at his home address in Oxhill Road, Handsworth, where we seized £53,950 in cash.

Officers also seized Eastwood’s Audi A5 Quattro and a BMW X6 – and information on his mobile phone implicated Raphael in the drugs conspiracy.

Raphael was arrested on 6 October from his home in Colchester. Police recovered £6,000 in cash plus bank statements showing the purchase of a boat and other sizeable money transfers

And Thomas was detained on 4 November from his home in Gannahs Farm Close, Sutton Coldfield.

He tried destroying his phones as we forced entry to his home but they were recovered and shown to be the same phones used by “Regentcliff”. We also seized a gold Rolex watch valued at £14,000.

All three went on to admit conspiracy to supply drugs between December 2017 and July 2020 and were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for a combined total of 32 years.

Eastwood has been jailed for 16 years, Raphael has been jailed for 10 years and Thomas was given six years and nine months in prison.

DC Daniel Wilson from our Force CID Priorities Team, said: “These were very significant players pumping large quantities of Class A drugs into our communities and causing untold harm and misery.

“They thought their drug dealing was beyond the reach of police but they’ve found to their cost that wasn’t the case – and they’ve rightly been handed long jail terms.

“We’ve seized significant amounts of cash and property and will be seeking to permanently strip the offenders of those assets through the Proceeds of Crime Act.”


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