9 October 2017
Twelve people, including a serving Border Force officer, have been arrested as part of an international operation targeting a crime group suspected of importing drugs and firearms.
On the morning of Friday 6 October the Border Force officer, a 36-year-old man from the Dover area, was detained by French police at a location near Calais. Three other British nationals were also arrested at the scene.
All four remain in French custody.
Eleven firearms, comprising nine handguns and two revolvers, were recovered, along with magazines and suppressors. French officers also seized approximately 34 kilos of cocaine, and seven kilos of heroin.
Shortly afterwards, eight men were arrested by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Command in a number of areas of Kent.
Six of the eight were subsequently charged with conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs, and remanded in custody ahead of appearances at Barkingside Magistrates Court on 9 October.
The remaining two men were released under investigation.
Officers from the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit have additionally carried out searches at two locations in Folkestone and Dover as part of the operation.
The investigation has been conducted by the NCA and Metropolitan Police Service, working in partnership with the Central Office for the Repression of Organised Crime of the French National Police (OCLCO), and the UK Home Office.
Dave Hucker, head of the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit, said:
“This operation has brought together law enforcement from both sides of the Channel, and we believe we have prevented the importation of a significant quantity of class A drugs and firearms to the UK. Our investigation is ongoing, both in the UK and in France.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, head of the Metropolitan Police's Organised Crime Command said:
"We are pleased to work with the NCA and French police during this ongoing investigation. Operations like this show the importance of working together when suspected organised criminal networks operate across borders."