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The mother of a teenager from Deal in Kent, who died from an overdose, has now spoken about the dangers.
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Tom Savvides talks to Michelle Fraser and Ian Cruxton from the National Crime Agency.
An attempt to smuggle £11.3m of cannabis resin into the UK hidden in a lorry carrying pallets of flat packed wooden crates has been prevented by Border Force.
On Wednesday 12 July, officers at the UK’s border control at Dover, stopped a Bulgarian-registered lorry. When the vehicle was searched 143 packages, each weighing approximately 30Kg, were found hidden in specially hollowed out sections within each pallet. Tests identified the packages as cannabis, with a total weight of 4.3 tonnes and an estimated street value of £11.3 million.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating the smuggling attempt.
Cameron Bryson, Acting Deputy Director Border Force South East and Europe, said: “By thwarting this smuggling attempt, Border Force has stopped a vast quantity of illegal drugs from reaching the UK’s streets and prevented criminals from lining their pockets with a substantial profit.
“Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the country and we continue to work with law enforcement partners to tackle these crimes.”
Border Force officers arrested a 42-year-old Bulgarian man who has been released under investigation. On Friday (14 July) the National Crime Agency arrested a 50-year-old Briton at an address in Hythe, Kent. He was released on bail pending further enquiries.
A heroin dealer from London has been jailed for five years after he was caught trying to supply drugs to users in Tunbridge Wells.
Julian Mason was seen acting suspiciously in a car in Reynolds Lane on 22 February, 2017 and, when police blocked his vehicle, tried to escape on foot. The 34-year-old was detained and searched and a total of 76 wraps containing Class A drugs were found in one of his trouser pockets and inside a bag he was carrying.
Further enquiries revealed Mason had been living for several weeks at an address in Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells. When officers searched this property they discovered further quantities of drugs, along with a set of scales and cling film.
In total police seized 32 grams of heroin, crack cocaine weighing 56 grams and 295 ecstasy pills.
Mason, formerly of Romney Road, Hayes, was remanded in custody after being charged with possession with intent to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply MDMA.
Appearing before Maidstone Crown Court he pleaded guilty to all the charges and was jailed for five years.
Mason was dealing on a very significant level. He had even found himself a place to live in the local area in order to systematically target some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
We know there will be more drug dealers like Mason who will try to target Tunbridge Wells but rest assured my officers will continue to work relentlessly, to ensure we keep on catching them and bringing them before the courts. We must all remain vigilant to ensure our town remains a safe place to live and your help remains invaluable. Make sure you report anything suspicious by calling 999 if it is a crime in progress. Otherwise contact 101.
Two men involved in dealing drugs in Thanet have been jailed.
Shaquille Walters and Alan Da Silva both 21 years old were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of class A drugs as well as possessing a knife.
No drugs were found when the pair were arrested, however, evidence from their mobile phones confirmed they were involved in drug dealing.
Although no drugs were found, it was clear from the other evidence we found that Walters and Da Silva were involved in supplying drugs. They were contributing to an illegal trade which is not welcome in Thanet, and Kent Police will continue to work to bring down those who try to bring drugs to the area.
Border force officials have seized cocaine with a street value of £680,000 after discovering the haul hidden among cans of Pepsi Max cola at the Port of Dover.
Officials found the 17 kilograms of the drug after searching a Bulgarian freight lorry that had arrived on a ferry from the Netherlands on Friday 9 December. Several packages were found hidden under a legitimate shipment of Pepsi Max. The investigation has been handed over to the National Crime Agency.
The driver, a 40-year-old man with dual Macedonian and Bulgarian nationality, was arrested and released on bail pending further enquiries.
“This is a significant seizure which has prevented a large quantity of dangerous substances reaching the UK’s streets.
“As this case shows, our officers are on constant alert to stop drugs, weapons and other banned goods entering the country.
“We work in partnership with the National Crime Agency (NCA) to disrupt traffickers and prevent illegal drugs causing harm to communities.”
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call the Border Force hotline on 0800 59 5000.
Kelvin Willmott, 30, from Bournemouth, pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court to possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine and being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. He was jailed for four years.
The court was told that on 11 February 2016, Willmott was spotted by police in the back seat of a Nissan Micra on Durrant Road selling drugs to another person. Following his arrest, he was searched in custody where 14 small wraps of crack cocaine and 10 small wraps of heroin were found in his underwear.
On 14 April 2016, Bournemouth officers arrested Willmott again as he was wanted on a court warrant. A search of him found 64 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine.
While on police bail for the incident on 11 February, Willmott was again seen by officers on 3 May 2016 acting suspiciously in a car park on Cotlands Road. He was searched and four white wraps containing suspected drugs were recovered.
Two men who sailed a yacht carrying almost a ton of cocaine across the Atlantic have been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison.
Sailing the yacht were Raymond Aalders, 47, and skipper, Hendrik Brugmans, 69, both Dutch nationals.
They were both arrested after the yacht Golem was intercepted by a Border Force cutter off the coast of Rye on 31 August 2015.
The 56-foot yacht was escorted into Dover marina, where a search by specialist Border Force teams revealed hundreds of packages of drugs.
Forensic tests on the packages revealed the cocaine was 70 percent pure, and if adulterated and sold in the UK would have had a potential street value of around £120 million.
In interviews with NCA officers they both admitted sailing the vessel from Curacao in the southern Caribbean.
Both Brugmans and Aalders pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs and were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 20 years and nine months, and 14 years respectively.
A mother who lost two sons to heroin is calling for all drugs to be legalised and regulated.
Rose Humphreys says she believes her children would still be alive today if drugs were not in the hands of street dealers, but the Government says it wouldn't put an end to drug deaths. Keith Wilkinson reports.
Police have issued a warning about a "rogue" batch of drugs after a 36-year-old was found dead in a car park in Salisbury.
Emergency crews were called to Culver Street on Friday evening amid reports a woman had collapsed.
Wiltshire Police said the woman was pronounced dead at the scene and believe the deceased may have taken a quantity of contaminated heroin.
"I would of course urge everyone to steer well clear of any illegal drug use but following this tragic incident, we have concerns that there may be a quantity of contaminated heroin in our community which could have the potential to lead to further illness or death.
"We would like to reassure the local community that we are carrying out a detailed and robust investigation following this death and enquiries will be continuing.
"If anyone has any information on this incident, or is able to help us with inquiries to establish where these drugs have come from, please call us on 101 immediately. All information we receive will be treated in the strictest confidence. Alternatively, information can be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800." 555 111."
A joint operation involving UK and French law enforcement has led to the seizure of around 2.4 tonnes of cocaine from a freighter a few miles off the South Coast.
The Moldovan flagged MV Carib Palm was intercepted in the Eastern Channel. It had sailed from Colombia and was on its way to Gdansk in Poland.
The interception, led by French Customs and supported by Border Force and the Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Severn, was coordinated by the UK's National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) and the Maritime Analysis and Operational Centre - Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon.
The ship was taken to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer where it was searched by French Customs.
In the UK the drugs could have had a potential street value in excess of £350 million.
The twelve crew members, who were Georgian, Turkish and Ukrainian, were arrested.