Five men from Merseyside who were arrested following a raid at a car dealership in 2020 have denied being part of a money laundering plot.
At the time, the officers were seen searching cars on the dealership’s forecourt.
It was part of a global crackdown on serious and organised crime, reported the Liverpool Echo.
The five men – Timmy Donovan, 36, formerly of Walsingham Road, Childwall, Christopher Roper, 37, of Allerton Road, Arran O’Sullivan, 38, of Deepfield Drive, Huyton, Paul Duncan, 52, of Gentwood Road, Huyton and Kenneth Kean, 56, of Huyton House Road, Huyton – appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday (Jul 8), Donovan via video link.
Each one denied a single count of money laundering, reported the newspaper. Their trial is set to begin in early 2022.
The arrests and prosecution were part of Operation Venetic – a worldwide crackdown of the now collapsed criminal Encrochat phone network.
The global operation led to a large number of arrests across Europe and the seizing of cash, drugs and guns.
Over 1,550 arrests have been made across the UK – more than 100 on Merseyside.
Roper was arrested at the car dealership while the remaining four were detained at their home addresses.