11 arrested in Heathrow drug smuggling investigation

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Picture credit: National Crime Agency

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers have arrested 11 people in connection with a major investigation into airport workers suspected of smuggling drugs through Heathrow Airport.

10 men and one woman aged between 24 and 60, including three airport baggage handlers, were detained following a series of raids by 125 NCA investigators assisted by officers from the Metropolitan Police, Bedfordshire Police and Border Force today (Wednesday 14 December).

All 11 were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import class A drugs. The operation followed a number of seizures at Heathrow over 15 months, totalling around 100 kilogrammes of cocaine and 50 kilogrammes of cannabis.

NCA senior investigating officer, David Reynders says: “Large scale drug smuggling through UK airports is high risk for organised criminals. Today’s operation was coordinated to strike simultaneously at as many parts of the suspected drugs ring as possible.”

“The NCA is grateful for the support and co-operation of the airport authorities and Border Force, all of whom have a vested interest in protecting the security of our borders.”