(Newser)

A Dutch crime blogger got into his Volkswagen Polo one night in 2016 and boom, he was shot dead—a crime that led authorities to a phone company allegedly run by violent criminals, Joseph Cox writes at Vice. Seems it all hinges on a man who left the murder scene like nothing had happened. The victim, blogger Martin Kok, was out that night in Amsterdam with a Scottish man who worked for the encrypted-phone maker MPC. The Scot walked away, but in February police announced arrest warrants against him and two drug kingpins from Glasgow who, sources say, secretly controlled the company. Those two men—brothers James and Barrie Gillespie—also have connections that are “worldwide and are extremely violent,” a source tells Cox.


Authorities say they’re behind a cocaine-trafficking group that might responsible for Kok’s murder. Motive? Kok wrote about—and apparently annoyed—Moroccan organized crime figures linked to the Gillespies, per another Cox article. As for MPC, its devices were ideal for crooks wanting to duck police detection. Other encrypted-phone makers, like Encrochat and Phantom Secure, have also sold devices to accused or convicted criminals. So the Gillespies allegedly made their own cell phones for criminal purposes while selling them to privacy-minded buyers and advertising on Kok’s cite. Seems Kok was oblivious to his fate, tweeting a photo of himself with an MPC-branded mug a few weeks before: “For a phone that you can’t crack […] MPC.” See Cox’s articles here and here. (Read more murder stories.)