THIS is the serial conman at the centre of a police probe into the sale of encrypted phones to criminals.
He is ex-soldier Johnny Swales, who has more than 70 convictions and who has changed his name by deed poll at least eight times to steal people's identities for use in fraud.
Detectives are now investigating his role in providing secure Encrochat devices to criminals. The encrypted handsets allowed drug and arms dealers to securely communicate with each other.
However, the network was accessed by an unidentified foreign government last month, leading to dozens of arrests in Northern Ireland and the seizure of drugs and firearms.
Realising the breach, Holland-based Encrochat sent a message to all its users two weeks ago urging them to destroy their handsets.
But this was only after a number of alleged senior criminals across Europe were arrested and charged.
Among them was Michael O'Loughlin, with an address in Warrenpoint, who appeared in court accused of conspiring to commit murder, conspiring to possess firearms, conspiring to convert criminal property and 11 drugs offences.
When he appeared in Newry Magistrates Court last week, a detective said the evidence against him "has been obtained by lawfully authorised clearance that has enabled access to his encrypted mobile phone content".
Having made dozens of arrests locally, the attention of detectives is now turning to who was providing criminals with the Encrochat phones.
Inquires have led them to Johnny Swales, known as 'King Con' in criminal circles because of his 20-year fraud career.
He was jailed again last year after being convicted of targeting his ex-partner in a shameful revenge porn cyber attack.
Speaking to Sunday Life about her years with the 43-year-old conman, his former girlfriend revealed he was in business with criminal gangs, selling them secure phones that could not be accessed by law enforcement.
This newspaper has been told these were Encrochat handsets. Swales' former girlfriend revealed: "He also has a scam going that involves selling burner phones to criminals, mostly in the South. Johnny is very tech-savvy and he uses these skills to commit crime."
His ex added that the phones the fraudster had been flogging typically sold for between £1,500 to £2,000.
Detectives are understood to be keen to speak to Swales, who is originally from north Belfast and was previously jailed for mugging pensioners and operating a fake passport scam.
The Europe-wide Encrochat investigation is being led in the UK by the National Crime Agency.
It also is believed to be one of the biggest ever criminal probes involving the PSNI.
A 45-year-old man who appeared in Dungannon Magistrates Court on Thursday is the fifth person to face charges arising from the breach.
He faces charges of importing, possessing and controlling drugs and money laundering. A leading east Tyrone republican had his home searched as part of the same operation.
The message Encrochat sent to users after realising its servers had been breached read: "Due to the level of sophistication of the attack and the malware code, we can no longer guarantee the security of your device.
"We took immediate action on our network by disabling connectivity to combat the attack. You are advised to power off and physically dispose of your device immediately."
The network was successful because it used a wi-fi signal rather than mobile networks and users were limited to text or picture messages.