Three Men arrested by NCA for Large Scale Gun Trafficking

Three men were arrested for trying to supply large quantities of firearms by the National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of a major operation.

Three Men arrested by NCA for Large Scale Gun Trafficking f

“We will continue to target offenders who bring firearms into our communities.”

Three men have been arrested in the north-west of England as part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation on October 20, 2020.

They were arrested as part of the ongoing NCA’s Operation Venetic, which is the law enforcement’s response to the takedown of encrypted global communications service EncroChat.

The men were charged with conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life or to enable another person to endanger life.

They are Bilal Khan, aged 32, from Manchester; Umair Zaheer, aged 33, from Manchester; and Hitesh Patel, aged 26, from Cheshire.

Khan, Zaheer and Patel appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court October 21, 2020.

A fourth man, a UK national was also arrested in Spain on a European Arrest Warrant as part of the same investigation into the large scale supply and possession of firearms.

As part of the international led investigation, Robert Brazendale, aged 33, was arrested by the Spanish National Police in Estepona on the Costa del Sol. The police executed a European Arrest Warrant on the suspect for suspicions of the same offence.

Brazendale, of Warrington, Cheshire, has been remanded to custody in Spain and faces extradition proceedings.

Neil Gardner, the National Crime Agency operations manager, said:

“The arrests by the NCA and Spanish National Police are the latest in a long line made since Operation Venetic was announced in July this year.

“As part of this investigation, the NCA and our policing partners have removed some of the most deadly firearms that exist.

“We will continue to target offenders who bring firearms into our communities.”

The huge operation has been taking place over the COVID lockdown summer with police seizing £13m of cash in London alone.

A military-grade encrypted communication system called Encrochat, allegedly used by organised criminals trading in drugs and guns, was hacked by police and their partners leading to an onslaught of police arrests against organized crime.

In April 2020, officers seized an AK47 assault rifle hidden in a commercial building in Warrington, Cheshire.

During that month officers also seized an Uzi and Skorpion submachine guns, 300 rounds of ammo, £180,000 cash and a kilogram of cocaine from a location in London.

In June 2020, officers seized a second AK47 from an address in Manchester.

Since its inception earlier this year, the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Operation Venetic, has seen more than 700 arrests across Europe and is the police’s biggest international combined operation to date.

Jessie, a free-thinking discovery writer who aims to shed light on topics that emerge in many news and lifestyle areas. He writes by pushing boundaries and drawing upon real global experiences. His approach is characterised by the quote "work for a cause, not for applause."