Dawn raids across Bury and Rochdale see multiple arrests as GMP continues to tackle the use of encrypted communications services used by organised crime groups

Six people have been arrested for drugs offences after seven warrants were executed this morning (Wednesday 27 January 2021) at properties across Radcliffe, Heywood, Whitefield and Bury.

Five men – aged between 28 and 49 – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. A woman – aged 31 – was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

They all remain in custody for questioning.

During the warrants, several items, including mobile phones, class A and B drugs, vehicles and other high-value assets were seized.

The arrests form part of GMP’s continued commitment in tackling the use of highly sophisticated encrypted communication platforms – codenamed Operation Foam.

Operation Foam is the GMP strand of the NCA led Operation Venetic which has seen law enforcement agencies from across the UK join together to break through the encrypted communication services being used by organised crime groups.

Detective Inspector Ian Partington of Bury’s Operation Challenger Team, said: “Our officers are undertaking an inordinate amount of complex and intricate work to ensure we disrupt and dismantle this type of activity. We currently have 5 people in custody which highlights the excellent work of all those involved in this operation and this result is another positive step forward in ensuring our communities are kept safe.

“Organised criminal activity is not welcome within our community and GMP is committed to tackling it. Our work to target organised criminals in the Bury borough continues under Operation Pevek and this work is often supported by information provided to us by members of the public so I would encourage anyone with any information that could assist us to get in touch with police.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 1417, quoting Operation Pevek. Alternatively, details can be passed on anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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