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Intelligence Analyst Admits Leaking Confidential EncroChat Investigation Details to Suspect

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ByHarper Stewart

Sep 17, 2023
Intelligence Analyst Admits Leaking Confidential EncroChat Investigation Details to Suspect
Harper Stewart
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Natalie Mottram, an intelligence analyst working for the North West Regional Organized Crime Unit (NWROCU), stands accused of a major security breach. She has admitted to sharing sensitive information pertaining to Operation Venetic with users of the now-defunct encrypted communication platform, EncroChat.

Operation Venetic

In 2020, a major cyber breakthrough was achieved when Dutch and French authorities successfully infiltrated EncroChat. Their hack granted global law enforcement agencies unprecedented access to communications being relayed on the platform. As a result, Operation Venetic was launched to capitalize on this intelligence.

Breach of Trust

However, the operation soon encountered obstacles when it was discovered there was an internal leak. Investigations revealed that Mottram had informed Jonathan Kay, a 38-year-old acquaintance, about the specifics of the operation. On April 24, 2020, another individual using EncroChat referenced a contact within the police force, effectively confirming suspicions about a leak.

Caught in the Act

The turning point in this internal investigation came on June 12, 2020. NWROCU placed Mottram under surveillance, assigning her a fabricated intelligence task centered on Kay. She was later seen visiting Kay’s residence, confirming her ties to the suspect. Following this meetup, Kay met with another individual. Shortly after this rendezvous, both Kay and the unnamed individual were arrested, resulting in the confiscation of £200,000 from Kay’s home.

Analysis of past records also exposed that Mottram had been at Kay’s home on April 21 and April 24, engaging in Operation Venetic while at the location. Following both visits, phone records showed Kay communicating with the unnamed individual.

Legal Proceedings

On August 18, 2023, Mottram appeared in Liverpool Crown Court and entered a guilty plea for several charges including misconduct in public office, unauthorized computer access, and perverting the course of justice. Earlier, Kay had admitted to perverting the course of justice.

The pair awaits their sentencing, which is scheduled for November 3.

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Harper Stewart

With a deep understanding of the complexities of the Dark Web, Harper curates informative and thought-provoking content for our readers. Her knowledge of the hidden corners of the internet and cybersecurity helps shed light on the often mysterious and illicit activities that take place in this realm.