A BROMSGROVE man and woman have been arrested followed an investigation into a multi-million pound drug smuggling operation.
West Mercia Police arrested 10 people earlier today, (February 12), across the West Midlands, with further arrests in The Netherlands, as part of an operation into the importation of cannabis, amphetamines and MDMA, the main constituent of ecstasy.
The arrests follow nine that were made in Newent, Gloustershire last July, when drugs with a street value of almost £4 million were seized.
The other arrests included two men in their 50s in Ross on Wye, a man in his 20s in Newent, a man in his 40s in Barnsley, a man in his 40s in Brownhills, another man in his 40s in Gloucestershire, and a man and woman in their 60s in Evesham.
The Dutch and German authorities also arrested a man in his 60s in the town of Beek, on the Dutch-German border.
All the suspects were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to import a Class A controlled drug, MDMA, and Class B controlled drugs, cannabis and amphetamines.
The operation launched in November 2012 and since then £10 million of drugs have been seized.
This included the raid in Newent where officers recovered 280kg of skunk cannabis bush with a street value of around £2.8million, 54kg of amphetamines worth about £500,000, and MDMA worth around £400,000.
Since then, further seizures have resulted in the recovery of a further 380kg of cannabis, 95kg of MDMA and 10kg of amphetamines.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Loader, who leads the West Mercia Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “In terms of value, this is one of the biggest investigations West Mercia Police has ever conducted into the illegal drugs trade.
“This covers activity not just in the West Midlands area but it has links to The Netherlands and we would like to thank all the UK forces involved in supporting our inquiries, as well as the Dutch and German authorities.
“We think it is only the tip of an iceberg. We believe the conspiracy has been responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds worth of drugs being smuggled into the UK.
“We also have evidence that shows these drugs have been sold from the West Midlands region to organised criminal groups nationally who are dealing drugs across the country.
“The public can play a big part in assisting us to keep drugs off the streets, thereby helping to keep our local communities that much safer.”
Anyone who suspects illegal drug activity in their neighbourhood can call the police on emegency number 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.