Wok­ing­ham drugs raid part of se­cret law en­force­ment op­er­a­tion

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

vast seizure of dan­ger­ous firearms and il­licit drugs.

There has also been a se­ries of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions tar­get­ing prom­i­nent crim­i­nals.

In the South East, SEROCUand the po­lice forces of Hamp­shire Con­stab­u­lary, Sur­rey Po­lice, Sus­sex Po­lice and Thames Val­ley Po­lice have ar­rested more than 45 sus­pects and seized more than £3.1 mil­lion in crim­i­nal cash, and more than 86 ki­los of Class A and B drugs.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Pete O’Do­herty, South East re­gional lead for counter ter­ror­ism and or­gan­ised crime, said: “Op­er­a­tion Ve­netic, led by the Na­tional Crime Agency, has been a suc­cess due to the part­ner­ship­work­ing in­volved across all of polic­ing, both in the UK and abroad.

“The op­er­a­tions car­ried out across the South East re­gion would not have been pos­si­ble with­out our lo­cal po­lice forces’ in­volve­ment and sup­port.

“This has not only been the big­gest op­er­a­tion to take place in the South East but the re­sults are deeply sig­nif­i­cant as well.

“Not only with the goods seized but also the dis­rup­tion this will cause to se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime groups op­er­at­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties.

“I’d like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank the SEROCU in­ves­ti­ga­tors and all the forces and of­fi­cers from across the South East for their tire­less work.

“Th­ese crim­i­nals may have felt un­touch­able us­ing a sys­tem they thought was un­der the radar of law en­force­ment, but this tech­nol­ogy is now be­ing used against them.

“A com­mit­ted joint ob­jec­tive by law en­force­ment across the coun­try will be to con­tinue to keep one step ahead of th­ese crim­i­nals.

“There is still work to be done and SEROCU and our part­ners are ded­i­cated to pur­su­ing those who are in­volved in se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime and will con­tinue to dis­rupt this crim­i­nal­ity and bring those found to be in­volved to justice.”

De­tec­tives from SEROCU’s Dark Web team also con­ducted a se­ries of drug war­rants in London and Wok­ing­ham on Fri­day, June 19.

Across five ad­dresses, eight ki­los of co­caine, ap­prox­i­mately £100,000 in cash was seized along with 53 dig­i­tal de­vices, a num­ber of which were en­crypted.

Five men were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­acy to sup­ply and con­ceal­ing, dis­guis­ing con­vert­ing and trans­fer­ring crim­i­nal prop­erty of­fences.

In the Thames Val­ley, £300,000 in cash and mul­ti­ple ki­los of class A and class B drugs in­clud­ing co­caine

in­sur­ers with­hold­ing pay­ment to clients.

Mr Geller told Mrs Gia­mat­tei: “If ac­cepted by the judge at the fi­nal hear­ing … ev­ery in­surer has to pay the pol­i­cy­holder. Get­ting closer to a favourable res­o­lu­tion.”

Mrs Gia­mat­tei had pre­vi­ously been told that Busi­ness In­ter­rup­tion Cover would not cover a claim re­lat­ing to the coro­n­avirus.

The claim team at His­cox said cover can be trig­gered un­der two sec­tions of her pol­icy: Non-dam­age De­nial of Ac­cess and Pub­lic Au­thor­ity. and cannabis have been seized in the last three months.

And 20 ar­rests were made for of­fences in­clud­ing drugs sup­ply and money laun­der­ing.

Four peo­ple have been charged with con­spir­acy to sup­ply Class A drugs and money laun­der­ing so far.

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Katy Bar­row-Grint, head of spe­cial­ist op­er­a­tions for Thames Val­ley Po­lice, said: “We are com­mit­ted to tack­ling se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime and­will dis­rupt it whereverwe can.

“Our on­go­ing com­mit­ment through our strong­hold cam­paign means that we will work in part­ner­ship with the NCA and SEROCU as well as other po­lice forces and part­ner agen­cies to tar­get this type of crim­i­nal­ity and also safe­guard any­one we find who has been ex­ploited.

“We know how much se­ri­ous, or­gan­ised crime and sale of drugs im­pacts on our com­mu­ni­ties and the harm it does to peo­ple across the Thames Val­ley.

“This joint work has been hugely suc­cess­ful in seiz­ing money, drugs and firearms, dis­rupt­ing drug deal­ing op­er­a­tions, but we will not stop there, we will con­tinue to take ac­tion to stop those who seek to make a profit from crime and cause harm to our com­mu­ni­ties.”

“Th­ese sec­tions only cover Busi­ness In­ter­rup­tion losses where those losses re­sult solely and di­rectly from an in­ter­rup­tion to your busi­ness caused by a de­nial of ac­cess or an in­abil­ity to use the in­sured premises due to re­stric­tions by the Gov­ern­ment or a pub­lic au­thor­ity.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the loss for­which you have claimed is not cov­ered by your His­cox pol­icy.”

But Mrs Gia­mat­tei fought the de­ci­sion, stat­ing that her sa­lons should be cov­ered, hav­ing closed due to the Gov­ern­ment


“We didn’t vol­un­tar­ily close,” she said. “The Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cially closed us on Mon­day, March 23, to stop the spread of the coro­n­avirus.

“We’re cov­ered for an oc­cur­rence of no­ti­fi­able hu­man dis­ease — it’s there in black and white.”

The com­pany, which has 60 em­ploy­ees, has been able to fur­lough staff to save on costs.

“My chil­dren, sis­ter-in­laws, neph­ews and nieces now all work within the com­pany,” added Mrs Gia­mat­tei.

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