Essex arrests in microlight drug smuggling inquiry

Microlight in NCA case The microlight was allegedly used in attempt to smuggle drugs from France

Two men are being questioned after a microlight was allegedly used in an attempt to smuggle drugs into the UK from northern France.

The 26-year-old and 30-year-old were arrested in South Ockendon and Brentwood in Essex, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

They are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to import cocaine and amphetamine, and money laundering.

The arrests are part of a British and French investigation, the NCA said.

Officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), the NCA, Essex Police and the French judicial police carried out search warrants on Thursday at two Essex properties.

Det Insp Simon Harsley of SEROCU said three other British men had been arrested in the past 18 months and are in custody awaiting trial in France.

The British and French inquiry involved "allegedly attempting to import cocaine and amphetamine into the country from northern France in microlight aircraft", he added.

Dave White of the NCA's border policing command said 70kg of class A drugs destined for the UK had been seized during the investigation.

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