A father and son have been charged as part of a joint National Crime Agency and Police Scotland investigation into the large-scale importation of the new psychoactive substance kratom.

The pair, aged 60 and 38, were arrested as officers from the Organised Crime Partnership executed two warrants in the Bathgate area of West Lothian on Tuesday 12 May. 

The arrests followed two seizures of kratom made by Border Force, one of 52 kilos at Edinburgh Airport on 15 April, and another of 102 kilos at East Midlands Airport on 6 May. 

Kratom is a controlled substance under the New Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, traditionally grown in south-east Asia and used as a stimulant with opioid-like properties.

The two men were charged with importation, possession with intent to supply and offering for supply the drug, and have both been released pending a summons to appear before court on a future date.

Investigations are continuing.

NCA Scotland operations manager John McGowan said:

“We estimate these seizures would have had a combined value of around £60,000 once sold on the black market.

“Kratom is a dangerous drug, and working with partners like Police Scotland and Border Force we are determined to do all we can to prevent such substances making it on to our streets and damaging the communities of Scotland.”

Deputy Director Murdo MacMillan, head of Border Force Scotland, said:

“These seizures have taken a large amount of dangerous psychoactive substances out of the hands of organised criminals and off our streets.

“Border Force will continue to work with the NCA and Police Scotland to bring those involved in smuggling to justice.”

14 May 2020