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Folkestone man is arrested with two others on suspicion of importing class A drugs

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.

The drugs seized by the NCA. Picture: NCA
The drugs seized by the NCA. Picture: NCA

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.

Three men have been arrested. Picture: NCA
Three men have been arrested. Picture: NCA

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."

Earlier this month, 746 people were arrested and £54 million of dirty cash, two tonnes of drugs and 77 firearms were seized as part of another crime bust connected to Encrochat.

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