ENCROCHAT: Man wanted in Germany for 'aiding Albanian crime gang to import cocaine from Colombia'
A DAD of two suspected of being involved in large cocaine importations from South America to Europe using the EncroChat encrypted mobile phone system has been extradited to Germany to face trial.
Kamran Butt, 44, was arrested (above) by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on June 16 this year, on behalf of the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Police) in Germany.
Butt, who was living at a property in Argyll Road, Woolwich, South East London was subject to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by a judge in Hamburg on October 22 2020.
An NCA spokesman said: "He is suspected of having a significant role in an Albanian and German organised crime group, using encrypted comms platform EncroChat to arrange cocaine shipments.
"Investigators believe the group had contacts in South America and across Europe, and facilitated the movement of class A drugs over several years."
Butt’s extradition was confirmed by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 8 2021 after he withdrew an appeal against it.
He was returned to Germany on Tuesday (November 16) where he is now remanded in custody awaiting trial.
Butt, of Pakistani heritage, moved to Germany aged 11.
He came to the UK 18 months ago and had been working remotely for his brother's German-based transport company Butt Transport as as accounting assistant at the time of his arrest (below and above on video).
The court had earlier heard that German prosecutors allege that he was involved in two major shipments from Brazil to Germany in 2020
"The arrest warrant relates to a total of two offences of illicit trafficking in narcotics, of a not insignificant quantity, as a member of a gang.
"(He) is strongly suspected of conspiring with others to import cocaine from South America to Germany to sell to buyers at a profit.
"(He) invested in the cocaine shipments and reserved shipment portions for sale, selling his shares to unidentified buyers."
It is alleged that in April 2020 he had a 20kg share of a 1,000kg shipment that arrived to a warehouse in a load of Big Bags from Brazil and the same month he had an unknown share of a 1,185kg shipment that arrived from Colombia concealed in bananas.
If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in jail.
He has drug trafficking convictions in Hamburg from 2008 and 2012 and is still on probation until July 2024.
Butt's wife Saba, from the UK, is deaf after developing sepsis during her last pregnancy and going into a coma.
He argued that if extradited she could struggle to look after their boy, five, and girl aged two.
However, district Judge Robinson said the fact that Butt had two convictions with a third alleged offence committed while on probation, meant he had to be sent to face trial.
NCA Deputy Director Andrea Wilson, said: “NCA officers both in the UK and overseas have worked closely with our German counterparts throughout this investigation.
“Kamran Butt went to great lengths to avoid the attention of law enforcement in Germany and the UK, and is believed to have been using EncroChat to communicate with other members of the crime group.
“We are determined to do all we can to tackle criminal drugs smuggling networks impacting on the UK, no matter where they are, and this case is a great example of collaborative work between the NCA and our colleagues in the BKA.”