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The EncroChat Hack Was Hailed as a Major Coup Against Gangsters. BUT Europe is Still Awash With Drug



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Intelligence gleaned from the EncroChat hack launched an unprecedented attack on organised crime that ended up targeting a generation of drug traffickers and other career criminals.


This month the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that as a direct result of the EncroChat hack UK police had arrested 2,864 people, charged 1,571, convicted 383, seized £77 million in cash, 20 tons of drugs, 170 firearms and 3,400 rounds of ammunition. 


But two years down the line, how has the EncroChat hack – which handed detectives a unique glimpse of the criminal underworld and is widely accepted as being the most significant police intelligence coup in history – impacted Europe’s organised crime world, and in particular, its €10 billion (£8.6bn) cocaine trade?


There is no doubt the coup sent shockwaves through Europe's organised crime world, but the EncroChat earthquake has barely made a dent in Europe’s drug trade.


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A source with close links to Merseyside’s underworld, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “EncroChat got three or four of the top boys in Liverpool, but some of the others got off abroad. They were scared they’d get implicated. One went to Dubai, another went to South America.”


Another cocaine and heroin supplier from Bradford who spoke to Dr Qasim said he has seen an array of drug suppliers taken out by the hack, all of whom were swiftly replaced.


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