£12 million cocaine haul seized in Chelmsford

EIGHT people were arrested in Chelmsford after police seized 80kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of £12 million.

The drugs were found in a van that had stopped in Chelmsford on Saturday afternoon.

It is the biggest ever haul found by the North West Regional Crime Unit, also known as TITAN, since it was created in 2008.

Two men from Urmston Greater Manchester, aged 50 and 25, were arrested at the scene before intelligence led to the arrest of five men and a woman across the north west, all of whom were arrested on suspicion on importing a Class A drug.

Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, Head of Operations for Titan, said: “These arrests come as a result of a thorough and intensive six-month long investigation by officers from Titan.

“This continues our ongoing efforts to tackle the top echelon of organised criminals in the North West and I hope this sends a message out of others involved in this type of criminality, that we act on all information we receive and work hard to take you off the streets and bring you to justice.”

The operation in Chelmsford was supported by the South East Regional Crime Unit, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and Border Policing Command.

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The arrests in the North West were co-ordinated by the Police Forces of Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire.

A 44-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman from Grappenhall, Warrington, were arrested in Kirkham, Lancashire, and Runcorn, Cheshire respectively.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in Partington, Greater Manchester; a 30-year-old man was arrested in Aintree, Merseyside; a 36-year-old man was arrested in Halewood, Merseyside and a 46-year-old man was arrested in Urmston, Greater Manchester.