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Police seize £1.6m of cannabis found in a lorry load of tea

Essex Police have seized cannabis with a street value of £1.6 million after it was found in a lorry load of tea.

The 200 kg consignment of herbal cannabis was discovered in Josselin Road in Basildon in the early hours of 2 November.

Police inquiries found that the rest of the tea consignment was in a distribution centre and officers recovered another 150kg of cannabis.

Police have seized cannabis with a street value of £1.6 million in Essex. Credit: Essex Police

"A significant haul of cannabis has been taken off the streets. We are continuing our enquiries into where the drugs came from and where they were destined for.

"We are also still looking for the other two men seen acting suspiciously in Josselin Road on 2 November.”

– Det Sgt Mike Wilkinson, Basildon CID

A 48-year-old man of no fixed address was charged with theft from a motor vehicle. He admitted the charges and was sentenced at Basildon Magistrates’ Court to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Police also arrested two men, one aged in his 40s from Bulgaria and another aged in his 60s from Lithuania, on suspicion of importing drugs. They have been released on police bail until February, pending further enquiries.


Drugs gang jailed for a total of 74 years

Fourteen members of a drugs gang who supplied cocaine and ecstasy across London and East Anglia have been jailed for a total of 74 years and four months.

Officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) launched an investigation into the organised crime group in 2013.

The gang used a recruitment agency business in Slough to cover as a front for the drug dealing and also used street dealers to supply cocaine and MDMA across the region.

An extensive covert investigation culminated in arrests in Hertfordshire, Essex, London, Slough and Reading.

Officers seized 3.3kg of cocaine with a street value of £138,000, 4.4kg of MDMA with a street value of £560,000 and £60,733 in cash.

Twelve men and a woman pleaded guilty to various drugs offences and were sentenced at early hearings. A further defendant was also jailed after being convicted following a trial.


Hospital's warning over potentially-fatal heroin batch

One man died and four other people were taken to hospital with suspected heroin overdoses in just 48 hours, a hospital said.

It has prompted a warning from doctors about what they believe is a particularly potent batch of heroin being used in the area.

The medics say it is unusual to have so many separate cases of drugs overdoses in such a short space of time.

Olivia Paterson sent this report.

Warning over potent batch of heroin

Doctors have issued a warning about a potentially-fatal batch of heroin which has killed one man and led to a significant increase in overdoses among drug users.

A total of five patients have been taken to Milton Keynes Hospital for treatment so far.

Emergency medicine consultant Vimal Desai said doctors would usually expect to see one or two overdose cases a week but had seen all five in just 48 hours at the end of last week.

He added: “The reaction suggests an overdose of heroin, which appears to be a lot more potent than normal.

"It slows down their breathing and knocks their consciousness-level down.

“We would like to warn anyone thinking of taking these drugs that it may be a more potent batch, which can have a much more detrimental effect and can be fatal.”

Police have confirmed they are investigating the death of a man.

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