UK

Two more arrests in 'biggest UK drug conspiracy'

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Media captionThe latest arrests follow a series of dawn raids on alleged drug smugglers

Two more arrests have been made over what investigators say was the UK's biggest ever drugs conspiracy.

Ashley Jones, 29, from St Helens, and 36-year-old man from Wigan, handed themselves in at Wigan police station.

Mr Jones was charged with conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs while the other man is being questioned.

It follows the arrests of 13 men accused of importing cocaine, heroin and cannabis which police report had a street value of billions of pounds.

They were arrested in dawn raids by the National Crime Agency on Tuesday.

The men appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court on Thursday, charged with conspiracy to import class A and B drugs.

Seven of them were remanded in custody.

They are: Paul Green, 54, of Eccleston, St Helens; Sohail Quereshi, 59, of Wood Crescent, White City, London; Mohammed Ovais, 41, of Bournlee Avenue, Burnage, Manchester; Khaleed Vazeer, 56, of Westwood Avenue, Timperley, Manchester; Steven Martin, 48, of Chorley Old Road, Bolton; Mark Peers, 55, of Norbeck Close, Warrington, and Oliver Penter, 37, of Gladstone Street, Stockport.

A further six were released on bail. They are: Vojtech Dano, 38, of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire; Ivan Turtak, 34, of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire; Ifthikar Hussain, 46, of Upland Grove, Leeds, West Yorkshire; Ghazanfar Mahmood, 48, of Green Lane, Bolton; Andrew Reilly, 37, of Grange Park Road, St Helens, and Paul Ruane, 58, of Bewsey Rd, Warrington.

All 13 are due to appear at Manchester Crown Court on 7 November.

Four more men and two women from the Netherlands, who were arrested in April by the Dutch National Police on European Arrest Warrants, are awaiting extradition to the UK.