A WIGAN man was being quizzed by detectives today after his arrest in connection with Lancashire’s biggest ever drugs haul.
The Orrell 34-year-old was one of three people detained in pre-dawn raids today by officers who had earlier made an £11m cocaine seizure.
Officers from Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), executed search warrants at addresses in both Wigan and Aughton, Ormskirk. and raids were also carried out at residential premises on Orrell Road, Wigan and Cole Crescent, Aughton.
The Orrell man, along with a man and woman, both aged 33 and from Aughton, were arrested on suspicion of supplying cocaine in the Skelmersdale area and money laundering and are currently in police custody.
These raids follow warrants executed by Lancashire officers last week in the St Helens area of Merseyside where 35kgs of high purity cocaine and over £200,000 in cash was seized from a caravan on Fleet Lane.
At the same time, 10 premises in Hampshire were searched resulting in a further 10kgs of cocaine, MDMA, amphetamine, cannabis and more cash seized. Six men and a woman have already been charged with drugs conspiracy offences and appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on November 5.
Lancashire’s SOCU have been working with Hampshire Police over a number months investigating the supply of cocaine across England, particularly Skelmersdale, Merseyside and Hampshire.
Det Insp Martin Kane, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “This morning’s raids are part of on-going investigation into the supply of cocaine into the Skelmersdale area of Lancashire following warrants executed in the Merseyside area last week where we recovered 35kgs of high purity cocaine and over £200,000 in cash.
“During our investigation we have uncovered a large scale cocaine supply network between Lancashire, Merseyside and the South Coast and we are working in partnership with Hampshire Police.
“The seizure last week was Lancashire Police’s largest ever cocaine recovery. It will dramatically reduce its supply and the harm cocaine causes across Lancashire and the North West of England.
“The activities of drug dealers can have such a negative effect on our communities. They can ruin lives, fuel other crime, and can instil fear in our neighbourhoods and we are determined to tackle that.
“Our aim is to take is to target those involved in the supply and selling of drugs throughout Lancashire and beyond.
“We need the public to continue to work with us to help us tackle drug crime by informing us of any suspicious activity.”
Anyone with information about suspicious activity in their community should contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. In an emergency always dial 999.