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EncroChat: Drug Dealer Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

A drug dealer who the police identified through EncroChat was sentenced to 14 years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court.

Martin Peter Grant, 33, was sentenced to 14 years and six months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court. Grant previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (heroin and cocaine) and to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and ketamine).

A picture of Martin Peter Grant and Liam Grant

Martin Peter Grant and Liam Grant

Last month, a court sentenced Grant’s younger brother Liam Grant, 25, to four years and six months in prison after he had pleaded guilty to the same charges.

According to an announcement from the Merseyside Police, the arrests are a part of Operation Venetic. Police described the operation as “an international operation targeting criminals who used a mobile encryption service, commonly referred to as EncroChat, in an attempt to evade detection.”

A picture of an illicit substance discovered by police

Police included pictures of drugs in the announcement. Unsure if the pictures are seized products or pictures sent via EncroChat.

“Martin led the family enterprise, which involved them both using the dark web in an attempt to conceal their underworld drug dealing. He used the handle Swiftorchid, while younger brother Liam went by the name Beigepalm.”

From the article about the arrest of the darkweb MDMA vendor HundredsUK”:

“EncroChat called itself “an end-to-end security solution” that provided customized Android handsets as well as an OTR messaging application. EncroChat usually sold Samsung phones with a modified version of Android. Some units had no functioning GPS, camera, or microphone. The phones came pre-installed with the EncroChat application as well as other applications provided by the company. EncroChat, the application, “routed conversations through a central server based in France.” The service had roughly 60,000 users at the time of its closure.”

A picture of marijuana discovered by police during Operation Venetic

Merseyside Police have had a lot of Operation Venetic cases lately.

“The French National Gendarmerie, assisted by law enforcement in the Netherlands, installed malware on EncroChat servers in France. “The malware allowed them to read messages before they were sent and record lock screen passwords,” according to a Wikipedia entry on the company. The malware affected more than half the devices in Europe, according to the company. Law enforcement agencies worldwide received access to the data pulled from the hacked EncroChat server.”

Merseyside Police detectives identified the brothers by examining “a series of messages and photographs” shared through EncroChat. In one example provided by the police, the brothers discussed ways to travel unmolested by law enforcement during lockdowns. One of the brothers shared a screenshot of an eBay listing for an ambulance and wrote, “buy a ambulance jacket of eBay‚ never get pulled.”

A picture of an eBay listing for an ambulance the brothers wanted to purchase

Would have been a lot cooler if the brothers went through with the amber lamps idea!

Detective Sergeant Graeme Kehoe:

“The fact the Grant brothers pleaded guilty again illustrates the strength of evidence that we have to bring drug dealers who used Encrochat to justice, and prevent them from flooding the streets with drugs. Op Venetic is continuing to expose criminals who thought they could evade detection by using the encrypted devices.”

“Bringing the Grant brothers to justice has disrupted not only the serious organised crime they were involved in, but street level drug deals and county lines operations involving vulnerable young people. I hope this sends a clear message to criminals that we’ll persist in our pursuit to get them behind bars.”

Op Venetic: Liverpool brothers locked up for class A and B drug dealing |

It's Called We Engage In A Mild Amount of Tomfoolery
7464e8c0 Thu, Jun 16, 2022

Oh no no Encrochads.. Turns out we should have used open source software….

580bb290 Thu, Jun 16, 2022

^ more honey than a censored caricature of Xi Jinping as a famous cartoon character

59c9dc50 Thu, Jun 16, 2022

Good work by the police! Put these criminals in a cell and throw away the key!

46987c40 Fri, Jun 17, 2022

The FBI and NSA have publicly had a hard time getting into iPhones for years, for example the iPhone seized from deceased terrorists DeSyed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik in 2015, which Apple did not assist the FBI in breaking into, even after the FBI had a magistrate judge order Apple to do so. The FBI eventually resorted to a third party company (which did crack the iPhone in question) and gave up its legal chase with Apple. Although this is the most well known instance there have been more than a dozen similar instances were Apple refused to comply with FBI demands for similar information. Some of these new iPhones are pretty damn secure and you can bet your bacon the FBI will not be compromising Apples servers… something to be said for an iPhone setup in cash, you could always pop the top off and snip the microphone and camera wires, although a good piece of well placed tape on the shell of the phone is pretty good. Apple also has some great security features you can enable…

c72c57e0 Fri, Jun 17, 2022

Better to install GrapheneOS. At least that one is much more secure and open-source.

46a24200 Fri, Jun 17, 2022

What about the proprietary drivers/binary blobs? that problem is not solved only by installing open-source os.

af692e20 Fri, Jun 17, 2022

Trump uses iPhone and I’m sure plenty of government states and other various adversaries would love access to his phone… graphene is pretty wonky

c0f49e30 Fri, Jun 17, 2022

That Google Pixle gonna cost a G too my boy!

9f16db20 Thu, Jun 23, 2022

Smartphones for dumbpeople

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