French cops swoop on Ockendon in trafficking bust

TWO men from West Essex have this morning been arrested as part of a cross-channel investigation into drug trafficking and money laundering.

On Thursday, November 14, detectives and financial investigators from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA), Essex Police and the French Judicial Police, executed search warrants at two addresses on Rollason Way in Brentwood and The Green in South Ockendon.

Two men, aged 30 and 26, were arrested at each address, respectively, on suspicion of conspiracy to import cocaine and amphetamine, and money laundering. They are currently being questioned by detectives.

DI Simon Harsley, of SEROCU, said: “The arrests today follow the arrests of three British men over the last 18 months, as a result of joint operation between French and British agencies, for allegedly attempting to import cocaine and amphetamine into the country from northern France in a microlite aircraft. All three are currently in custody awaiting trial in France.”

Dave White, from the NCA’s Border Policing Command, said: “This investigation has already led to the seizure of around 70kg of class A drugs which were destined for the UK. Working closely with law enforcement colleagues here and in France the NCA is determined to tackle those responsible for trafficking illegal drugs into the UK.”

SEROCU, which is based in Sussex, comprises police officers and staff from the forces of Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Thames Valley, and works in conjunction with UK Border enforcement teams, HMRC and NCA, to combat cross-border organised crime.

The NCA‘s Border Policing Command has over 300 officers at major ports, investigating detections of drugs, firearms, cash and other non-fiscal crime made by Border Force. The BPC also has an extensive overseas network of around 120 officers in 40 locations around the world.

Media enquiries should be directed to Sussex Police Press Office on 01273 404173 or email media.hq@sussex.pnn.police.uk. They handle media relations relating to SEROCU investigations.

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