Five Men charged for Offences of helping Russia under New National Security Act

murder charges

Five Men charged for Offences of helping Russia under New National Security Act

Five people have been charged in connection with an investigation into alleged offences under the National Security Act, as part of a Counter Terrorism Policing investigation.

These are the first charges to be brought about under the new legislation that came into effect in December 2023. These charges relate to the foreign of Russia.

Two of the men are British and were helping Russian intelligence services and arson attacks on a Ukraine-linked business in London.

The NSA investigation began after an arson attack at a London warehouse. (image LONDON FIRE BRIGADE)

The most serious charges were brought against Dylan James Earl, 20, of Elmesthorpe, Leicestershire. Earl was charged with aggravated arson (Criminal Damage Act 1971), preparatory acts of terrorism, and assisting a foreign intelligence service (National Security Act 2023). He had agreed to undertake “research and reconnaissance of targets, and attempted to recruit individuals to assist with such activity”.

The remaining four individuals were charged with lesser offences. Jake Reeves, 22, of Croydon, south London, is accused of aggravated arson and agreeing to accept benefits from a foreign intelligence service. (Criminal Damage Act, 1971 / National Security Act 2023)

Dmitrijus Paulauska, also 22 and from Croydon, was charged with failing to report knowledge of potential terrorist activity to the police. (section 38B of the Terrorism Act, 2000).

Court Appearances

  • Dylan James Earl appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, April 20 and was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Friday, May 10.
  • Jake Reeves and Dmitrijus Paulauska are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, Friday, April 26.

Additional Charges

Two other men, Paul English, 60, from Roehampton and Nii Kojo Mensah, 21, from Thornton Heath, were also charged in connection with this investigation. They were charged with aggravated arson in London in March and appeared in court on April 22.

They appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 22 April and were remanded back into custody until Friday, 10 May to appear at the Old Bailey.

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, which is leading the investigation, said: “This is a highly significant moment and investigation for us. Not only are the charges that have been authorised by the CPS extremely serious, but it is also the first time that we have arrested, and now charged anyone using the powers and legislation brought in under the National Security Act.

“We have spoken publicly in recent times about various threats linked to national security that we have been facing, and the increase in operational activity required across Counter Terrorism Policing to meet these.

“While these are very serious allegations, I want to reassure the public that we do not believe there to be any wider threat to them in connection with this matter. This investigation remains ongoing, but now that charges have been brought about I would urge everyone to respect the criminal justice process and not to speculate or comment further in relation to this case.”

Editors Note: The National Security Act is a controversial piece of legislation that has been criticized for its broad scope and potential to restrict civil liberties. The use of the act in this case is likely to be closely scrutinized.

Background to the Investigation

The investigation began on Wednesday, April 10th, with the arrest of a man in his 20s in Leicestershire under the National Security Act 2023. A second man, also in his 20s, was arrested in London on April 14th under the same act. Warrants were obtained to detain both individuals, one later identified as Dylan James Earl, was charged. The other man has since been released without charge.

On April 18th, an 18-year-old man was arrested in Stratford on suspicion of arson conspiracy with intent to endanger life. He was later released on bail.

The following day, April 19th, saw a significant development with four more arrests:

  • Jake Reeves (22, [D]) was arrested in Croydon under the National Security Act.
  • Dmitrijus Paulauska (22, [E]) was arrested in New Addington under the National Security Act.
  • Nii Kojo Mensah (21, [F]) was arrested in Thornton Heath on suspicion of arson conspiracy.
  • Paul English (60, [G]) was arrested in Croydon on suspicion of arson conspiracy.

Mensah and English were charged with aggravated arson on April 21st. Warrants were obtained to detain Reeves and Paulauska, who were subsequently charged as well.

Another man arrested on April 21st in Dover (20-year-old, [H]) was initially detained on drug charges but later brought under the National Security Act. He was eventually released without charge.

The investigation is being led by London’s Counter Terrorism Command with support from various regional police forces. More information is expected to emerge as enquiries continue.

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