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ENCROCHAT: Corrupt port workers helped bring huge amounts of cocaine into the Port of Liverpool

CORRUPT port workers were involved in bringing huge amounts of cocaine into the Port of Liverpool.

Details emerged in the case of a Liverpool drug dealer who has been jailed for more than 17 years after pleading guilty to being involved in the importation of millions of pounds worth of cocaine.

It followed a joint investigation between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Merseyside Police.

Dale Campbell, 40, (above) of Hillside Drive in Woolton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and three counts of money laundering at Liverpool Crown Court.

He had been using the EncroChat encrypted mobile phone system that was hacked into by French and Dutch police in April 2020 before they allowed the NCA access to the communications.

Detectives carried out a complex investigation which led to the recovery of 82 kilos of cocaine and half a million pounds in cash. Detectives were able to link Campbell to the drugs and the cash.

The drug dealer was in contact with a corrupt dock worker from the Port of Liverpool who facilitated the importation of huge quantities of Class A drugs direct from South America, paying him hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Shortly afterwards officers observed another dock worker, Jack Scott, take possession of one of the bags and drive away. He was later arrested and following a search of his vehicle and home address they found more than £255,000 cash.

More evidence recovered from a mobile telephone belonging to an associate of Campbell’s showed that he had organised a delivery of 390,000 cash in Euros to Doncaster in June 2021.

Campbell was identified as using the Encrochat handle ‘Barewelder’, and evidence on the encryption device showed a third transfer of £617,000 in April 2020.

At Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, Thursday 21 December, Cambell was sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison.

Jack Scott, 31 years, of Kirkstone Road West in Litherland, pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced in May this year for two years four months in prison.

The unnamed dock worker will be sentenced at a later date following the conclusion of another trial.

The investigation was conducted by Merseyside Organised Crime Partnership (OCP), a specialist unit of police officers from the National Crime Agency and Merseyside Police’s Matrix Serious Organised Crime command.

Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Laura Parr, from Merseyside Organised Crime Partnership, said: “This was a sophisticated operation where Campbell was operating a high-level smuggling operation worth multi-millions of pounds. He was part of an organised criminal group who were responsible for importing huge quantities of Class A drugs direct from South America, using corrupt dock workers to bypass border control to flood the streets with drugs for his own gain.

“The covert surveillance in July 2021 evidenced that the criminal group were importing drugs in barrels under the pretence it had food produce inside and was destined to a food manufacture.”

“Serious organised crime gangs are massive blight to our communities where drugs are closely linked to serious violence, involving firearm and knife crime.

“I hope this sentence given to Campbell serves as a stark warning to anyone attempting to import drugs onto UK soil.”


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