Cheshire’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has arrested two men in Liverpool in connection with the supply of firearms and drugs.
At around 7am on Thursday 23 July detectives – supported by Merseyside Police – executed six warrants at addresses on Muirhead Avenue, Fir Street in Thatto Heath, Cheapside, Lorenzo Drive in Norris Green and two properties on Brookwood Road.
A 29-year-old man was arrested at an address on Muirhead Avenue in Norris Green on suspicion of conspiracy to supply firearms and conspiracy to supply drugs.
At an address on Brookwood Road in Huyton a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply firearms and conspiracy to supply drugs.
Both men are now in custody being questioned by detectives.
The arrests took place as a result of the Europe-wide investigation on Thursday 2 July codenamed Operation Venetic – the dismantling of a global encrypted device service called EncroChat used exclusively by criminals.
Cheshire Constabulary was part of the large-scale operation led by the National Crime Agency working alongside the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Detective Chief Inspector Giles Pierce, from Cheshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “The infiltration of encrypted devices has enabled police forces to monitor messages between people without them knowing.
“This has led to us identifying those believed to be involved in some of the highest level of criminality and disrupting their activity.
“Today’s arrests are part of our continued commitment in protecting our communities by being relentless in our pursuit against those associated with serious and organised crime.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: “This is another example of how dedicated our officers are in disrupting this type of activity.
“Tackling serious and organised crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan and I commend officers who continue to pursue those suspected of being involved in this criminality in order to make our communities safer.”
If you believe serious and organised crime is taking place in your area please contact Crimestoppers on anonymously on 0800 555 111 or Cheshire Police on 101.