Three men have appeared in court charged with drug offences after Border Force officers seized £7.5 million worth of cannabis from a yacht in Newhaven.
The three men, two of whom are from Germany and another from Austria, were arrested after a search was carried out of the yacht on Friday.
The men have appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court today and have been remanded in custody until the 13th August.
Carole Upshall, Border Force Regional Director said:
“Our fleet of cutters operate 24 hours a day responding to intelligence
and patrolling the length and breadth of the UK. They play a key role in intercepting and deterring shipments of drugs and other prohibited goods, as well as criminal gangs who attempt to traffic people into the country.”
Brighton MP Caroline Lucas is to listen to arguments put forward by a group in favour of using cannabis for medicinal purposes.
She speak at tonight's launch meeting of the United Patients Alliance and hear evidence about why the drug can be of benefit to those with health issues.
There is an ongoing debate about the use of cannabis to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and provide pain relief.
Guest speakers and medical cannabis patients will talk at the event on how the drug has improved their quality of life. It takes place at the Brighthelm Centre at 7.30pm.
Ms Lucas, the Green party MP for Brighton Pavilion backs a carefully regulated assessment into cannabis being permitted for medicinal purposes.
She said: "It’s vital that drugs policy is driven by an evidence based approach and I look forward to hearing more about the evidence about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, which has looked at the experience of some states in the US, where there has been regulated supply to meet medical need under strict regulation."
– Brighton MP Caroline Lucas
Also speaking at the event, Professor David Nutt, who has campaigned for Dutch style cannabis cafes. He thinks if they were introduced, it would lower the nation's alcohol problem.
Around 70 cannabis plants were found in a bedroom at a house in Brighton as officers carried out immigration checks.
The discovery was made at the house on St James' Street Mews.
A 33-year-old Algerian man, who had over stayed his visa, was arrested.
Sussex police are now investigating the matter further and questioning the man.
Richard Lederle, head of Kent & Sussex Home Office Immigration Enforcement team said:
This was an excellent piece of work by all officers involved. Not only did they arrest an individual who was in the UK illegally, but they also prevented a quantity of Class B drugs making it onto our streets.
This was the latest in a series of operation tareting illegal immigration in Sussex, and for those who are living and working here illegally there is no hiding place.
– Richard Lederle, Head of Kent & Sussex Home Immigration Enforcement Team
Two nights ago we revealed that while millions of pounds are spent combating the cultivation of cannabis the seeds needed to grow the drug are openly on sale at shops across the south-east.
As a result of our report a leading MP is calling for the sale of those seeds to be outlawed. At the moment a legal loophole means they can currently be bought and sold quite legally...on the understanding that they will not be grown.
But Sir Roger Gale, the MP for Thanet North says it's an 'outrageous' situation and is urging the Home Secretary to take action.