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Scots cop who nailed EncroChat organised crime gang hailed after unmasking corrupt Royal Marines


Ministry of Defence Detective Constable Gary McArthur was tasked with unmasking five gangsters involved in the supply of drugs and laundering more than £7m in Glasgow and Merseyside.

As part of the operation, DC McArthur embedded himself with Merseyside Police for several months. He said: “We had to read every word of every line of the messages that were sent by the criminals – there were no shortcuts. In total we were looking at 25-30,000 messages; one of the men alone had sent 18,000 messages.

“We were looking for evidential incrimination, but the biggest challenge was the attribution process, because the EncroChat handles were made-up names, so it was a process of finding clues to work out who these guys were.

“But it was the most interesting thing I’ve ever done. It was challenging because there were time constraints, and it was all-encompassing, it took over my life for months, it was stressful. When the suspects were arrested, I felt relief, and also a lot of pride.”

In May 2022, the five main suspects - including Royal Marine Commandos Stuart Bryant and Grant Broadfoot - all pleaded guilty to the charges in Merseyside and Glasgow Courts.

They were sentenced to a total of 69 years imprisonment, with individuals receiving between three years and 9 months to 20 years imprisonment.

Broadfoot, 30, was jailed for five years and three months after pleading guilty to being involved in serious organised crime. Stuart Bryant, then 31, was sentenced to three years and nine months after he admitted being involved in the supply of cannabis.


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