ENCROCHAT: Drugs 'big fish' wanted in Germany over multi-tonnes of cocaine arrested in UK
A MAN wanted for his alleged involvement in multi-tonne cocaine importations from South America to Germany has been arrested in the UK (above) by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Kamran Butt, 44 was apprehended on the morning of Wednesday, June 16, after NCA officers tracked him down to an address he was living in at an apartment block in Argyll Road, Woolwich, south east London, on behalf of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) in Germany.
He is believed to have a significant role in an Albanian and German organised crime group behind cocaine importations over a number of years, who have associates in South America and across Europe to facilitate the movement of drugs.
Deputy Director Andrea Wilson, from the National Crime Agency, said: “This man has gone to great lengths to evade law enforcement both in Germany and the UK, which included using the encrypted communications platform EncroChat to communicate with his associates.
“His arrest is the culmination of great collaborative work between the NCA and our colleagues in the BKA, and highlights how we are working together with partners to target and dismantle the organised crime groups responsible for bringing drugs to our streets.
“We know that Western Balkan crime groups have a presence at all stages of the cocaine supply chain, from South America to the UK. They play a significant role in the wholesale movement of cocaine, and we will not stop in our endeavours to identify those involved and disrupt their activity.”
Butt appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court the same day and was told he faces extradition to Germany on an arrest warrant for drug trafficking.
He was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned until later this year.
The NCA says Albanian crime networks have taken over the main cocaine supply trades in every British city except in Merseyside.
Last year Essex News and Investigations exclusively revealed the large numbers of wanted drug importers from eastern Europe, often Albanians, who were being sought in countries in Europe, mainly Italy, but including Germany and Greece.
Many of these cases are still progressing through extradition hearings at Westminster Magistrates' Court.