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Vino-no Newry man arrested after £30,000 of wine seized as part of PSNI organised crime op

Operation Venetic was launched after the Encrochat service used by criminals was breached

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PSNI

PSNI

A man has been arrested by PSNI Criminal Investigation Branch detectives following three searches in Newry.

The searches were carried out as part of Operation Venetic which was launched after encrypted messaging service Encrochat, used by organised crime gangs, was breached by authorities across Europe.

Three properties in the city were searched yesterday, with detectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch's Organised Crime Unit seizing cash in excess of £10,000.

They also seized a vehicle and several pallets of wine valued at around £30,000.

Police confirmed HMRC have also launched an investigation into the wine in respect of a potential evasion of excise duty.

A 47-year-old man was arrested for Entering into an Agreement to Acquire Criminal Property and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Detective Inspector McCamley said: “Detectives from Criminal Investigation Branch’s Organised Crime Unit continue to play their part in the UK's biggest law enforcement operation against serious and organised criminality. As part of this, officers carried out a search of three properties in the Newry area today.”

He added: “This is an example of our ongoing commitment to bring those involved in criminal activity to justice. Working alongside our partner agencies, we will continue to disrupt the movements and activities of Organised Crime Gangs. We recognise the harm caused in our communities as a result of organised crime and we will continue to keep people safe from this activity.

“Anyone with information about any criminality should contact police on 101 or anonymously through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

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