POLICE have today (Tuesday 11th November 2014) arrested two men and a woman following early morning drugs raids connected to Lancashire Police’s largest cocaine seizure valued at £11m.
Officers from Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), executed search warrants at two addresses in Wigan and Aughton following an investigation into the supply of cocaine in the Skelmersdale.
Raids were also carried out at residential premises on Orrell Road, Wigan and Cole Crescent, Aughton, Ormskirk.
Three people – a 34 year-old man from Wigan, a 33-year-old man from Aughton and a 33-year-old woman from Aughton – were arrested on suspicion of supplying cocaine and money laundering and are currently in police custody.
These raids follow warrants executed by Lancashire officers last week in the St Helens area of Merseyside where 35kgs of high purity cocaine and over £200,000 in cash was seized from a caravan on Fleet Lane.
At the same time,10 premises in Hampshire were searched resulting in a further 10kgs of cocaine, MDMA, amphetamine, cannabis and more cash seized. Six men and a woman have already been charged with drugs conspiracy offences and appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 5 November.
Lancashire’s SOCU have been working with Hampshire Police over a number months investigating the supply of cocaine across England, particularly Skelmersdale, Lancashire, Merseyside and Hampshire.
Detective Inspector Martin Kane, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “This morning’s raids are part of on-going investigation into the supply of cocaine into the Skelmersdale area of Lancashire following warrants executed in the Merseyside area last week where we recovered 35kgs of high purity cocaine and over £200,000 in cash.
“During our investigation we have uncovered a large scale cocaine supply network between Lancashire, Merseyside and the South Coast and we are working in partnership with Hampshire Police.
“The seizure last week was Lancashire Police’s largest ever cocaine recovery. It will dramatically reduce its supply and the harm cocaine causes across Lancashire and the North West of England.
“The activities of drug dealers can have such a negative effect on our communities. They can ruin lives, fuel other crime, and can instil fear in our neighbourhoods and we are determined to tackle that.
“Our aim is to take is to target those involved in the supply and selling of drugs throughout Lancashire and beyond.