A London jury convicted on March 14 two men, who planned a revenge shooting with a James Bond-style gun, in the first murder plot case involving the use of encrypted messaging system EncroChat.
After deliberating for over 14 hours, jurors at the Old Bailey found Frankie Sinclair, a convicted drug dealer, and “middle-man” Paul Fontaine guilty of conspiracy to murder and other offenses involving weapons and drugs.
Police uncovered the plot to murder after gaining access to messages on EncroChat, which prosecutor Kevin Dent QC described as “an Amazon for organized criminals” as it allowed them to buy guns, drugs, and counterfeit money secretly and illicitly.
In messages on EncroChat, Sinclair arranged to buy a £3,000 ($3,902) new Walther PPK handgun from Fontaine to allegedly kill gang rival and drug dealer Keiron Hassan, who was jailed in December 2020 for the attempted murder of Sinclair’s associates.
A third party known as Chestbridge eventually supplied the gun, which Sinclair described as “my James Bond ting.”
The gun was made famous in the 1962 film, “Dr. No.”
In the messaging system, Sinclair used the codename “Nudetrain” to contact Fontaine, who used the codename “Usualwolf” to plot the murder, the jurors heard.
According to Dent, the murder conspiracy was revenge for an attack on the Cardiff home of Sinclair’s mother on March 31, 2020.
The jury also convicted Fontaine of supplying a firearm that was used in the murder of Abdullahi Mahamoud in Enfield, north of London, on March 19, 2020.
Sinclair and Fontaine were remanded into custody to be sentenced on May 27.
The convictions are the latest in a string of cases resulting after the French police accessed EncroChat in 2020 and passed the data to the National Crime Agency in Britain.
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