Scots gangland phone firm linked to Martin Kok assassination offered hackers £1m

A gangland phone firm linked to the death of Dutch underworld figure Martin Kok offered hackers £1million if they could crack their security.

Glasgow-based MPC Secure Communications Ltd is alleged to have close links to suspected crime kingpins James and Barry Gillespie.

It is thought to have raked in more than £6million from selling encrypted handsets to organized crime gangs around the globe before it dissolved after just 18 months in business.

Martin Kok pictured inside Boccaccio an hour before his death

The firm shifted 5000 mobiles which cost £1200 each.

Customers also had to renew their contract every six months for £700.

MPC bosses were so convinced their encryption couldn’t be breached that they offered the six-figure sum to the first hacker to break it.

Gangster Christopher Hughes lured Kok to his death by arranging a meeting to discuss an advertising deal with the firm in the Netherlands.

Gangster Christopher Hughes was convicted over Kok’s murder.

It is understood Kok, 49, had been paid 13,000 euros to promote MPC products on his popular Butterfly crime blog.

A supergrass revealed Hughes alerted his accomplices to Kok’s whereabouts and the victim was shot nine times as they left a strip club in Laren, near Amsterdam.

A tech industry source said: “MPC really wanted to be known in the industry as a reliable service.

“Their representative said they were offering £1million to anyone who could break their encryption.

“They were very confident it couldn’t be done.”

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The firm was created in March 2015 as MPC Encryption UK Ltd but changed its name six months later.

On its website, the company also advertised laptops, tablets, and GPS tracking devices.

The company was officially dissolved in September 2016 – three months before Kok was murdered.

Sources have said the Gillespies were closely linked to the firm which was registered at a PO Box in Glasgow’s Woodlands Road.

It has been claimed the siblings would intimidate resellers of other encrypted devices.

An insider said: “The brothers would call up vendors and warn them against selling other phones.”

James and Barry Gillespie, of Rutherglen, near Glasgow, are wanted by Police Scotland in connection with serious organized crime offences.

It is feared they have been murdered while hiding from authorities in Brazil, and it has been claimed the group had links to Colombian drug cartels and the Italian mafia.

Hughes was part of an organized crime gang allegedly run by the Gillespies.

He was convicted of murdering Kok at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old was also convicted of serious organized crime offenses between 2013 and 2020.

The trial heard he was in the Netherlands to meet Kok and discuss a business deal on behalf of MPC.

The court was also told that the firm had been set up with £1million of dirty money.

Hughes told police officers that he was involved in “tech support” for the company when he was interviewed after Kok had been shot dead.

He will be sentenced at the High Court in Stirling next month.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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