Police hunt for man over £12m cocaine smuggling ring

The man police are hunting in connection with a �12 million cocaine drug smuggling ring.

The man police are hunting in connection with a �12 million cocaine drug smuggling ring.

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This is the man police are hunting in connection with a £12 million cocaine smuggling ring with links to Yorkshire.

Wearing a yellow high-visibility jacket, black beanie hat and glasses, the man is suspected of being part of a gang who tried to ship the Class A drug into Britain hidden in sacks of paprika.

The National Crime Agency – Britain’s answer to the FBI –launched an investigation after 45 kilograms of cocaine was discovered stashed in sacks of the spice in Rotterdam in the Netherlands in 2012.

Investigators then watched as “dummy” sacks were sent via Tilbury Docks to a yard at the Liverpool Docks.

The unidentified man, who the agency believes could be from Merseyside, Greater Manchester or Lancashire, was spotted unloading a lorry containing the sacks.

Officers are appealing for the public’s help in trying to track down the suspected drugs smuggler.

Six other men from Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester were arrested and charged on Thursday with conspiracy to import cocaine.

Four of the men were also charged with a conspiracy relating to a seizure in April last year when two kilos of cocaine in boxes of milk powder were sent to a virtual office in Bradford.

All six appeared at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court and were released on conditional bail until August 29 when they will appear at Manchester Crown Court.

Greg Mckenna, branch commander at the National Crime Agency, said: “Joint working with West Yorkshire Police has prevented a huge amount of cocaine reaching the streets and causing terrible damage to our communities.

“Now we need the help of the public to identify and locate the man at Liverpool Docks. There will be people who may know who he is and I am asking those people to come forward and provide us with as much information as possible.”

Anyone with information can contact the crime agency on 0370 496 7622 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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