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Ten tonnes in under ten months PDF Print E-mail
Written by National Crime Agency   
Thursday, 22 June 2017 08:29

 21 June 2017

Cocaine and heroin weighing just over 10 tonnes has been seized from boats in the Mediterranean and Atlantic ocean over the last few months as a result of NCA activity and intelligence sharing.

The latest was 1.2 tonnes of cocaine on board a South American fishing vessel, seized by Spanish officers on 12 June after a joint National Crime Agency and Spanish National Police operation, assisted by Venezuelan and US authorities.

 

Officers boarded the Petra 900 nautical miles south west of the Canary Islands, recovered 40 bales of cocaine hidden on the vessel, and arrested six Venezuelan crew.

Earlier the same month, over a tonne of heroin was seized when the Turkish Navy and Coastguard boarded the Commander Tide, a former oil rig supply vessel, as she sailed towards Turkish waters.

The vessel was taken to a Turkish military base and officers uncovered a concealment in a ballast tank hiding 1071 kilos of heroin. All nine Turkish crew members were arrested.

In May, a South American fishing vessel, the Ali Primera, was boarded by Spanish customs and police south west of the Canary Islands. Around 2.4 tonnes of cocaine was intercepted in the joint operation with Spanish National Police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Investigators believe the vessel had sailed from Venezuela towards Europe but was unable to deliver its consignment of drugs and had turned to go back. It was taken to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria where a search recovered 80 bales of cocaine. Seven crew members were arrested.

In February, the Lady Michelle, a fishing vessel registered in St Vincent & Grenadines, was intercepted off the north coast of South America by the US and Trinidad & Tobago coastguards.

Officers seized 185 bales of cocaine weighing 4.2 tonnes and arrested four Guyanese crew members. This consignment is thought to be the biggest drugs seizure in the Atlantic for over 15 years.

At the end of 2016, Spanish National Police and the Moroccan coastguard intercepted fishing vessel Zhar II as it approached Moroccan territorial waters. Officers recovered 2.6 tonnes of cocaine and 10 crew members were arrested.

Chris Farrimond, Deputy Director International from the National Crime Agency said:

“As well as protecting the public we know that our interventions put a massive dent in the pockets of organised criminals in South America, Africa and Europe. We cause considerable damage to their cash flow and their credibility with criminal associates around the world, making it much harder for them to enjoy their profits and reinvest in further crime.

“The exploitation of maritime traffic is a border vulnerability which the NCA and its international partners pay close attention to. These operations are possible because of the NCA’s particular capabilities, the coordination and cooperation role played by its international liaison officer network, and its close partnerships with specialist organisations like the the European Maritime Analysis Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N).”

 
Lorry driver guilty of delivering £10m of heroin to UK dealers PDF Print E-mail
Written by National Crime Agency   
Thursday, 22 June 2017 08:24

21 June 2017

A Polish lorry driver responsible for smuggling almost 100 kilos of heroin into the UK has been jailed for 18 years, following a multi-agency operation led by the National Crime Agency.
 


Robert Miszkjiel, 50, was part of an organised crime group arrested in June 2015. Eleven people pleaded guilty and were jailed in 2016 for 146 years. Miszkjiel pleaded not guilty and was the only member of the group to face trial.

On 26 June 2015 officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (TITAN) observed the co-ordinated delivery and collection of large quantities of heroin from Miszkjiel’s lorry at Lymm motorway service station on the M6.
 


Erwin Hendriks, 46, who was running the criminal operation on the ground, received texts from a Dutch mobile phone confirming what type of vehicle each customer would arrive in and the number of colour-coded packages of heroin they were due to collect.
 


Hendriks would then direct customers round to the lorry park where Miszkjiel was waiting to offload their order.
 


Over the course of two hours, a number of vehicles arrived and packages were transferred from the lorry in suitcases and sports bags.
 


                                                                    

Above: Miszkjiel offloads heroin from the lorry into a customer's car

Customers were arrested as they left the service station and their vehicles were searched. In total, the NCA, TITAN and Metropolitan Police officers, with support from the North West Motorway Police Group, seized almost 100 kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of £10 million.
 


Hendriks, his two lieutenants, and eight of their customers pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and were jailed for a total of 146 years in 2016. 
 
Yesterday at Manchester Square Crown Court Miszkjiel was found guilty of conspiracy to import class A drugs and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
 


Joanne Ralfs, Senior Investigating Officer from the National Crime Agency, said:
 “Miszkjiel was a professional courier who played a vital role in this conspiracy to distribute millions of pounds worth of heroin throughout the UK.
 


“The heroin seized in this investigation had a potential value to organised criminals of £2 million, which I have no doubt would have gone on to fund further criminality.
 


“The NCA uses all the tools at our disposal to target and disrupt organised criminals. Through this multi-agency approach, we have caused significant disruption to trafficking networks both here in the UK and abroad, and have deprived criminals of substantial profits.”

 
Fugitive goes to Gibraltar to give himself up after NCA appeal PDF Print E-mail
Written by National Crime Agency   
Thursday, 22 June 2017 08:16

21 June 2017

A fugitive wanted in connection with a drug trafficking investigation handed himself in to Gibraltar police dripping wet after learning of a National Crime Agency (NCA) Crimewatch appeal for help to find him.



Jason Waterman (below right), originally from the Watford area, arrived without warning, dripping salt water and carrying a small bag of wet clothing, late on Monday evening (19 June).

He refused to say how he had reached Gibraltar, only that it wasn’t through the frontier.



The 32-year-old, whose nicknames include Jugs and Jumbo, is believed by the NCA to have been around Bagby airfield, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, in October 2015 shortly after a light aircraft arrived from the Netherlands.



Border Force officers recovered a briefcase containing 7 kilos of cocaine with a potential street value of £1.2m from the airfield.

The aircraft pilot was arrested but later found not guilty of importation offences.



Waterman told Gibraltar police on Monday he had seen the NCA’s appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow that morning and wanted to hand himself in.


The NCA is now seeking to extradite him under a European Arrest Warrant.



NCA north east operations manager Brian Shaw said:
 
“It might sound like a cushy number, sitting around watching Crimewatch Roadshow on a Monday morning, but life as a fugitive is hard and stressful.
 
“The NCA first issued an appeal for Waterman in London nearly a year ago. Clearly something about the new appeal made him crack.
 
“To everyone else feeling the stress of being on the run I would say we are patient people, we keep the pressure on, and we never stop looking for you.”

 
Operation Stovewood: Three men arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse offences PDF Print E-mail
Written by National Crime Agency   
Thursday, 22 June 2017 08:19

21 June 2017

Three men were arrested yesterday (20 June) in connection with the National Crime Agency's Operation Stovewood, the independent investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997-2013.

The men, aged between 33 and 38, were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including conspiracy to rape, causing or inciting a girl under 16 to commit gross indecency and indecent assault.

All three were arrested at seperate locations in Rotherham and Sheffield and have been released under investigation.

To date, a total of 18 men have been arrested and 8 charged. The investigation currently has 71 designated suspects and is in the process of engaging with more than 190 victims and survivors.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 June 2017 08:19 )
 
Missing Leicester man is found PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leicestershire Police   
Thursday, 22 June 2017 07:59

Issued on 21/6/17 at 8:00 p.m.

Missing Leicester man Omar Bojang has been found safe and well.

He was located in London earlier this evening (Wednesday 21 May).