Brandon Moore desperately tried to destroy an EncroChat phone, which he’d been using to plot his revenge.
I Grabbed it and smashed it on the Repeatedly counter at a police station.
But it didn’t matter. Detectives already had the damning messages secured, stored digitally.
READ MORE : The posing ‘ruthless gangster’…and the AK47 picture which helped lock him up for 25 years
What those messages revealed was a determined scheme to wreak revenge, after Moore and his friend Jordan Waring had both been shot.
So determined were the pair to hit back, that the ‘wannabe gangsters’ discharged themselves from hospital hours after being seriously hurt.
Fearing they’d be recalled to prison if they hung around at Salford Royal, the pair sought the help of a gangster with high level criminal connections.
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Over the next few days in April 2020, a manhunt was launched. But it wasn’t the police who were leading it.
“Me n J got shot,” Moore said in one such message.
The day before, on April 3, 2020, Moore had been blasted in the arm, and Waring to the back in Kersal
The gunman shot at them as they drove at him.
The pair had been ‘cutting thru his estate’, Waring later reported on EncroChat – a highly secretive and encrypted network used by criminals recently hacked by police.
“He was there with thing in him we only had blade – drove at him n he just shot car 2 – 3 times,” the message continued.
What sparked this explosion of violence is still unclear to police.
Both men went to hospital after they’d been shot.
But the pair, who had both been released from prison on license, feared they’d be recalled if they stayed there.
Instead of recovery and recovery, revenge was their primary focus.
They looked to Umair Zaheer, a gangster with access to guns, for support in tracing the gunman.
“Get a location for this kid and we will end it,” Zaheer vowed.
For them, his fate was sealed.
“This kid’s f***** now.” Zaheer, known as ‘Assassin’s creed’ on EncroChat, added.
“Oh yea he is a dead man,” was Waring’s reply on the ‘remoteplug’ EncroChat handle, used by both him and Moore.
They spoke of needing a ‘blender’, an anonymous car without any links to them, and also discussed finding an address for the man’s girlfriend.
A picture of the target was circulated on EncroChat.
Waring returned to hospital four days after being shot, and was recalled to prison after hospital staff alerted police.
Zaheer had discussions about having Moore moved to Glasgow, to find a private ‘on side’ nurse to discreetly offer medical help, without the risk of being sent to prison.
By this time, Zaheer said the lack of retribution was making him and his fellow criminal associates look ‘weak’.
I have offered Moore a list of ‘heavy toys’ to choose from, to rectify the problem.
Two AK47s, an Uzi machine gun and other terrifying weapons were available.
“Yeah nice bro this kid needs it,” Moore said in reply to the list.
While Zaheer said: “He will get bro jus let him get comfatble abit we will sneak up on him x.”
But shortly after, plans changed.
A story published by the MEN, Which gave details of arrests after a shooting in Salford, led Moore to believe the gunman That HAD Been remanded in Forest Bank prison.
Unperturbed by this development, they then discussed how they could get at him in jail.
In reality, he had not been locked up.
On April 12 Moore was arrested, just over a week after a shooting which left him badly injured and at risk of needing his arm amputated.
The plot eventually fizzled out.
Moore’s desperate, last act in the police station emphasized how damning he knew the EncroChat messages were.
Now the pair, described by one senior police officer as ‘wannabe gangsters’, have been locked up.
Moore, 24, received 11 years and five months, while Waring, 23, was Sentenced to eight years and seven months. Zaheer, 34, was jailed for 25 years, with other Offenses Also taken into account being.
They all pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess firearms or ammunition with intent to endanger life.
“They are trying to get on the ladder of criminality,” DC Steven Walker, of GMP Salford’s Organized Crime Unit said of Moore and Waring.
“They are at that sort of level, but with extensive criminal connections.”
The hacking of the highly secretive EncroChat network provided police across the UK with an unparalleled window into the activities of the criminal underworld.
The highly encrypted devices, Which cost up to £ 1,500 six months of use, allowed the security of believing Criminals They Were acting With impunity.
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But all that changed with the network was hacked. A secret computer server in northern France was infiltrated.
After the hack, law enforcement sent bogus updates to devices across the globe, which allowed them to gain vital data to use against criminals in court.
The prosecution of Moore was the latest in a slew of cases which have relied almost exclusively on recovered EncroChat messages.
EncroChat messages were passed on to the National Crime Agency, dubbed the UK’s version of the FBI, and then on to police forces across the country.
Messages which included ‘threats to life’, such as in the case of Waring and Moore, were prioritized.
Hours after being sent, police were able to access these messages, tirelessly investigating who was behind them and decoding what they meant in the real world.
It was only in June 2020 that those behind EncroChat realized it had been hacked, and urged users to throw away handsets.
“We wouldn’t have been able to report and prevent threats to life, and mitigate the risk without the EncroChat messages,” DC Walker told the MEN
“It is the most covered police operation ever undertaken I think, on this scale at least.”
DC Walker described how the EncroChat hack has revealed a new brand of criminal.
People living seemingly respectable lives, but hiding a dark secret afforded to them by the supposed anonymity of the network.
Bilal Khan, 33, from Didsbury, who bought an AK47 from Zaheer, worked for a property management company. He has now been jailed for more than a decade.
“There are people who consider themselves law abiding citizens, with no previous convictions,” DC Walker said.
“People who wouldn’t otherwise want to rub shoulders with hardened criminals, if they had to deal with them face to face.”