Gang leader who smuggled cocaine over Encrochat is jailed for 16 years

Gang ringleader who smuggled at least 127kg of cocaine into Britain using Encrochat is jailed for 16½ years after detectives ‘hacked into’ encrypted service

  • Marius Bucys, 43, was snared through his use of the encrypted messaging app
  • Encrochat was burst open by European police and its data shared with UK cops
  • READ MORE: The shadowy Dutch ‘tech firm’ behind Encrochat that disappeared

The ringleader of a drug network smuggled at least 127kg of cocaine into the UK using the Encrochat messaging service that has been burst open by detectives.

Marius Bucys, 43, of Dagenham in London, has been sentenced to 16 years and six months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to import Class A drugs.

Bucys is the latest criminal to be busted after cybercrime experts cracked open the Encrochat service and used its data to arrest hundreds of criminals who had, until then, used the app as a near-untraceable means of coordinating drug deals.

European officers blew the app wide open in 2020, and Metropolitan Police detectives used a combination of its data and old-fashioned detective work to snare the drug smuggler – whose drivers used secret compartments to hide their wares.

The Met says Bucys acted as the ringleader in a wider drug network, arranging travel and logistics for the substances to be brought into the UK.

Marius Bucys has been sentenced to more than 16 years in jail after he was snared as part of a drug smuggling gang that used the encrypted messaging app Encrochat

Police found hidden compartments in vehicles that were used to traffic drugs connected to Bucys’ operation

Detectives found this notebook containing details of Bucys’ drug importations after raiding his home address

Bucys’ conviction is the latest in a series of gang busts linked to the encrypted messaging app Encrochat (pictured: an Encrochat phone)

After Encrochat was accessed by police in the Netherlands and France, data was passed to police forces in the UK via the National Crime Agency (NCA) that detectives were able to use to link Bucys to the illicit trade.

Officers also trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV showing lorry drivers stopping at locations up and down the M25 to pick up the drugs.

When officers raided his address, they found a notebook containing details of the importations.

READ MORE: How cocaine kingpins build their dirty empires by ‘hiding in plain sight’ before they’re caught boasting on EncroChat – as police launch sweeping crackdown on drug lords 

Brothers Jonathan Lynn, 40, of Epsom and Nicholas Lynn, 35, of Swanley, who worked closely with Bucys at the top of the network, were also caught. 

They pled guilty to conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the importation of Class A drugs in December 2023 and will be sentenced on 25 January 2024.

Met Detective Constable Leon Ure, said: ‘Through the dedication and hard work of the team, this drugs network has been completely disrupted and those involved have been brought to justice.

‘Thanks to the extensive evidence collected by officers, we have been able to secure guilty pleas and sentences for those involved in this network.

‘This investigation is a great example of the extraordinary work undertaken by the Met’s highly skilled and dedicated detectives in order to identify, apprehend and prosecute organised criminals.

‘Drugs ruin lives and we continue to work to stop those bringing them into this country illegally. 

‘I’m pleased that vast quantities of Class A drugs which were bound for London and beyond, have now been taken off the streets and significantly reduced the devastating impact drugs have on communities.’

The investigation into those at the top of this network, also led to 12 Lithuanian drivers being charged and convicted of conspiracy to import Class A drugs into the UK. 

The criminal network brought over an estimated 100kg of cocaine in the year 2020 – an estimated 8 million pounds street value.

Encrochat has been linked to hundreds of convictions in the UK since the network was broken wide open by European police.

Its use was not limited to the drugs trade — with a number of killings and arms sales also linked to the compromised app.

Criminals could buy their way into the network by purchasing a phone loaded with a customised operating system that kept their communications under wraps.

Some crooks were so confident in the platform’s security they were snared on the basis of selfies that they sent to fellow criminals.

Celebrities and high-profile public figures were said to be among those who used the system to protect their communications – but police believe the vast majority of people on Encrochat were using it for illicit means. 

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