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Trio held in connection with million-pound cocaine smuggling ring

PUBLISHED: 13:02 12 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 12 September 2020

Border Force officers discovered a suspected shipment of cocaine inside HGVs  Picture: NCA

Border Force officers discovered a suspected shipment of cocaine inside HGVs Picture: NCA

NCA

Serious and organised crime agents arrested three men in the Essex area as part of a million-pound cocaine smuggling investigation.

Border Force officers discovered a suspected shipment of cocaine inside HGVs  Picture: NCABorder Force officers discovered a suspected shipment of cocaine inside HGVs Picture: NCA

They were among five arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on Thursday as Border Force officers uncovered 21 kilos of cocaine hidden inside three lorries.

The men, aged between 21 and 59, are suspected of being involved in importing class A drugs from the continent.

Four of those arrested are based in Northern Ireland, while the fifth is from the north of England.

All were questioned and released on bail.

Gerry McLean, NCA Regional Head of Investigations, called the operation “highly significant” in terms of targeting organised crime impacting on Northern Ireland, where Detective Superintendent Rachel Shields, of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said the seizure was also significant in terms of the quantity seized.


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