DRUGS squad officers carrying out an airport sting have seized £400,000-worth of super-strong cannabis bound for Swindon.
Officers from the Dedicated Crime Team in Swindon, which is tasked with cracking down on the supply of hard drugs in the town, pounced on a man at Gatwick airport on Wednesday afternoon after receiving intelligence he was set to return to the county from Jamaica.
The man, in his 20s and from Bristol, was arrested upon his arrival and, during a routine search of his baggage, police and UK Border Agency officials found the haul of the suspected class B drug, known as “skunk”, hidden in suitcases.
The man was arrested, detained and questioned at Gablecross police station before being released on bail.
It is one of the single biggest seizures in the history of the specialist unit, set up three years ago to target the illicit narcotics trade initially just in Swindon before it was expanded to cover the whole county.
Many of the mid-to-upper tier dealers the DCT target are fromdrugs gangs in London and Bristol. Dedicated Crime Team Sergeant Scott Hargreave said police believed the substance, which had an estimated street value of £400,000, was destined for the streets of Swindon.
He said: “Earlier this year a number of men were charged with offences involving money laundering and the supply of class A drugs and were bailed to await trial.
“Continuing inquiries by members of the Dedicated Crime Team north, based at Gablecross police station, indicated that the supply of class A drugs was still continuing.
“Further inquiries revealed that a man was due to return from Jamaica to Gatwick Airport in Sussex.
“On Wednesday a man in his late 20s, who is from the Bristol area, was arrested by Wiltshire Police officers assisted by UK Border Agency at Gatwick Airport having arrived on a flight from Jamaica.
“Two bags containing 40 kilos of skunk – a strong form of herbal cannabis – were seized. “The drugs are thought to have a street value of about £400,000.
“We believe this was destined to come back to Swindon.
“The man has since been released on police bail while inquiries and forensic tests take place.”