Wirral man in court on cocaine and heroin charge

A Wirral man has been charged with conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis using the Encrochat encrypted messaging platform.

John Hassall, 52 years, of Birkenhead, has been charged with conspiracy to import a controlled class B drug (cannabis) with intent to evade a prohibition/restriction, conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine and heroin) and class B drugs (cannabis).

Hassall was remanded into custody and is due to appear at Wirral Magistrates Court this morning (Thursday 24th February). 

The charge forms part of the Merseyside Police response to Operation Venetic: a national investigation into the use of encrypted mobile devices, commonly referred to as Encrochat.

EncroChat was a Europe-based communications network and service provider used primarily by organized crime members to plan criminal activities.

EncroChat first came to the attention of the media when it was revealed that high-profile criminals Mark Fellows and Steven Boyle had been using encrypted devices to communicate between each other during the May 2018 gangland murder of John Kinsella in Rainhill.


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