Since the launch of Operation Eternal, the largest-ever initiative by the Met targeting organised crime groups, over 420 criminals have been jailed, and three tonnes of illegal drugs have been confiscated within a span of three and a half years, police have revealed.
Operation Eternal, a continuous investigation led by the Met, focuses on criminals utilising encrypted EncroChat devices for organising multi-kilo drug deals, money laundering, and orchestrating violence.
This initiative has significantly disrupted the operations of organised crime groups, leading to prosecutions against individuals involved in supplying illegal drugs and firearms to London gang members and dealers. These actions have directly contributed to reducing violence in communities across London.
Through this initiative, the Met has successfully targeted and apprehended criminals causing the most harm in London, making significant strides in ensuring the safety and security of the city’s residents.
Operation Eternal has achieved remarkable success with 942 arrests, averaging more than one arrest every two days. Out of these, 784 individuals were charged with various offences, including drug possession with intent/supply/conspiracy to supply, firearms, money laundering, and violence-related offences.
Additionally, 426 people have been convicted, averaging one conviction every three days, resulting in a total of 3,722 years of imprisonment, averaging more than eight-and-a-half years per person. The operation also led to the seizure of over £19 million in cash, more than three tonnes of Class A and B drugs, 49 guns, and 755 pieces of ammunition.
Commander Paul Brogden, who leads the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Op Eternal is the most significant operation targeting organised crime figures in the Met’s history.
“The suspects in these investigations are dangerous criminals, many of whom play a key role in supplying kilos of drugs to street gangs whose activities blight and cause misery in communities across London.
“Every dangerous criminal jailed, and every gun and amount of drugs taken off the street as part of Op Eternal has served to make neighbourhoods in and around the capital safer.”
Commander Brogden added: “Op Eternal investigations have been supported by officers and staff from all corners of the Met, and it is testament to their skill and dedication that this operation has been so successful.
“Our Op Eternal caseload remains significant, and many more cases are being progressed behind the scenes.
“We still have specialist teams working to attribute EncroChat handles to people; we are still making arrests regularly; and we still have more to do.
“Our message to criminals who operated on EncroChat and haven’t yet been visited by police is clear; we won’t stop until we have investigated all EncroChat handles, and it is only a matter of time before we knock on your door and arrest you.”