£12m cocaine seizure ‘huge blow against organised crime’

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Police have seized about £12m worth of cocaine following a six-month investigation into the “top echelon” of organised crime.

An investigation led by Titan, 
the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, has led to the biggest drug seizure since the unit started in 2008, police said yesterday.

Supported by the South East Regional Crime Unit, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and Border Policing Command a co-ordinated operation led to a van being stopped in Chelmsford, Essex, on Saturday afternoon.

Two men, aged 50 and 25, 
from the Urmston area of Manchester were detained with the vehicle and a subsequent search led to recovery of what is believed to be 80kgs of cocaine.

Following this recovery, with support from the police forces of Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire, co-ordinated arrests took place across the North West leading to the arrests of a further five men and one woman.

Head of Operations for Titan, Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, said: “These arrests come as a result of a thorough and intensive six-month long investigation by officers from Titan.

“It also represents the largest seizure of Class A controlled drugs from a Titan-led investigation and delivers a massive blow against organised crime in the North West.

“This continues our ongoing efforts to tackle the top echelon of organised criminals in the North West and I hope this sends a message out to others involved in this type of criminality that we act on all information we receive and work hard to take you off 
the streets and bring you to justice.”

Those arrested have all been held on suspicion of the importation of Class A controlled drugs and remained in police custody for questioning last night.