Published: 16:52, 31 July 2020
| Updated: 16:55, 31 July 2020
Drugs worth more than £3 million have been prevented from reaching the UK.
It comes as three men have been charged and over 50 kilos of class A drugs seized following a joint operation involving the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Dutch law enforcement.
Brian Wright, from Folkestone, was arrested alongside Mark Youell, 63, and Alfred Rumbold, 64, two days ago (July 29) as part of an ongoing NCA investigation into a transport firm allegedly involved in drug trafficking.
Wright, 72, was detained by Dutch police as he slept in his removals lorry north of Utrecht, in central Netherlands.
The drugs - 30 kilos of heroin, 20 kilos of cocaine and three kilos of MDMA - were recovered from the rear of the truck.
If sold in the UK they would have had a potential street value of £3.2 million.
Shortly afterwards NCA officers moved in to arrest Youell and Rumbold at their homes in Clacton, Essex, and Orpington.
Officers searching Wright’s home also recovered a hand gun, ammunition and £10,000 in cash.
All three men have since been charged on suspicion of importing class A drugs.
The investigation forms part of Operation Venetic, which has seen hundreds of people arrested in the UK following the infiltration of the encrypted communications platform Encrochat, described as a WhatsApp for criminals.
NCA branch commander Peter Stevens said: “This operation has prevented millions of pounds of dangerous class A drugs from reaching the UK, where they would have been sold on by gangs involved in violence and exploitation.
“It demonstrates the value of international co-operation in combatting organised crime.
“Our investigation into the circumstances surrounding this seizure, and those suspected of being behind it, continues."
More by this authorSam Williams
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