14 Encrochat dealers and the nicknames they used to try and avoid detection

Date02 May 2021
Publication Date02 May 2021
Used by top-tier gangsters across Europe, the software was expensive and seen as impenetrable -meaning many spoke freely of their antics on messages sent through the system.

Last year, Encrochat was breached in a major breakthrough in the battle against organised crime

Smashing through the previously impenetrable EncroChat messaging service is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the war on crime this century.

It has allowed police to read some of the darkest conversations across the European underworld -an arena in which some of Liverpool's most prolific gangsters retain influence.

Merseyside was the Encrochat capital of the UK with hundreds of criminals here using secret handles.

Investigators say our region was responsible for the highest use of the shadowy communication platform devices than anywhere else in Britain.

The figures were higher than those seen in Manchester and London.

Up to 400 Encrochat handles were found in the North West, and the majority of them were in Merseyside.

The shock statistics were disclosed to the ECHO by the National Crime Agency NCA.

These are some of the Encrochat nicknames to have come before the courts as dealers and their associated were prosecuted.

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'Wealthymace' and 'Dior Ice'

Two drug dealers involved in large scale cocaine supply were arrested as they tried to board a flight to Spain at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Detectives from Cheshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit SOCU intercepted Alexander Keating, 30, and Dylan Garforth, 25, on Thursday, October 15, before they could depart for the continent.

Their capture followed a warrant executed at the home of co-conspirator Paul Dillon, 32, on Norlands Park in Widnes, a few months earlier on Tuesday, June 30 when police seized almost £30,000 in cash.

Investigators had been monitoring Keating, of Lunts Heath Road, Widnes, Garforth, of no fixed address, and Dillon for three months via the hacked EncroChat network, which was cracked by international law enforcers in May 2020.

Dillion, of Norlands Park in Widnes, used the codename “Wasplawn” to communicate with Keating who used the handles “Dulltuna” and “Wealthymace”, while Garforth called himself “Dior-Ice”.

After their arrests, Keating pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply 30kg of high purity Class A cocaine and large quantities of cannabis; Dillon admitted conspiring to supply 3kg of high purity cocaine, large amounts of ketamine, which is Class B, and to supplying more than £500,000 of cannabis, also Class B; while Garforth pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply 10kg of high purity cocaine.

Dillon and Keating also admitted conspiracy to transfer a firearm.

At Chester Crown Court, Keating was sentenced to 22 years and five months in prison, Dillon to 18 years, and Garforth received a 15-year sentence.

'Headfluffy'

Mark Cavanagh went by the codename 'Headfluffy' as he operated on Encrochat.

When detectives hacked into his software they unravelled a web of contacts and read messages in which he ordered Class A drugs and boasted of his "grafting" ability.

His sentence hearing in September 2020 was one of the first in the UK to hear evidence gained since Encrochat was breached in a major breakthrough...

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