Two arrests made in early morning raids as officers continue to investigate the criminal use of Encrochat

At around 05:15am today (Thursday 31st March 2022), officers from GMP’s Oldham Challenger Team and the Regional Organised Crime Unit executed three drug warrants at three properties in the Waterhead area of Oldham, Langley area of Middleton and the Lower Place area of Rochdale.

During the warrants two men aged 35 and 38, were arrested on suspicion of the following offences:


  • Conspiracy to supply Class A Drugs.
  • Conspiracy to Import Class A Drugs.
  • Conspiracy to Manufacture and Supply Class B Drugs.
  • Conspiracy to possess Firearms and ammunition.


They remain in custody for questioning.

Various items were also seized as part of the operation, including suspected Class A and B drugs, mobile phones, designer clothing, a stolen vehicle and cash.

The action forms part of Operation Foam which is GMP’s strand of the NCA led ‘Operation Venetic’. Operation Foam is a lengthy and intricate force-wide operation focused on the infiltration and takedown of the encrypted communications platform Encrochat, often used by organised criminal groups.

Detective Constable Chris Brown, of GMP’s Oldham Challenger Team, said: “Today’s result follows months of meticulous planning and investigative work and is yet another positive step forward in our endeavour to disrupt and dismantle the supply of class A and B Drugs, the criminal use of firearms and Organised crime in the Greater Manchester area.

“Whilst we have two men in custody our investigation does remain ongoing and we will continue to investigate and eradicate this type of criminal activity from the area. Drugs and illegal firearms in particular, blight communities and have absolutely no place amongst our community so I would encourage anyone with any information in regard to this type of activity to get in touch with police. Reports will be treated with the upmost seriousness and can be made in confidence.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 8934 or 101. Details can also be passed via our live webchat function . Alternatively, details can be passed on anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



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