NINETEEN Brits have been held for allegedly importing 50 tons of drugs to the UK over 18 months — with some hidden in children’s juice boxes.
That haul, uncovered in September 2018 by the National Crime Agency, had a street value of more than £38million and was thought to be part of the UK’s biggest drug racket.
In a series of dawn raids yesterday, 13 men aged from 24 to 59 were arrested in London, Manchester, Stockport, St Helens, Bolton, Warrington, Dewsbury and Leeds.
Four men and two women held in the Netherlands in April are awaiting extradition to the UK. All are suspected of being part of the UK arm of an organised crime group that used Dutch and British front firms to import the drugs from Holland.
Jayne Lloyd, NCA Regional Head of Investigations, said: “The NCA targets organised crime groups causing the greatest harm to the UK.
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“Stopping criminals who don’t care about the damage they are causing in communities, and the children being exploited by County Lines drug dealing, is an absolute priority.
“We suspect these men were involved in an industrial-scale operation – the biggest ever uncovered in the UK – bringing in tonnes of deadly drugs that were distributed to crime groups throughout the country.
“By working closely with partners here and overseas, in particular the Dutch National Police, we believe we have dismantled a well-established drug supply route.”
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