Wigan man charged in investigation into Britain's biggest EVER drug smuggling gang

A Wigan man has been charged as part of an investigation into Britian's biggest ever drug smuggling gang.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 9:17 am
A Wigan man is being questioned in connection with drug offences

Raids have been taking part across the country over the last two days and yesterday a further two men were arrested as part of the investigation on Thursday after handing themselves in to a police station.

Sean Sherwood (21/12/82) of Railway Street, Hindley, Wigan, was charged, this morning (Friday 11 October), with two counts of conspiracy to import class A and two counts of conspiracy to import Class B drugs. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court today. He is the fifteenth man to be charged.

Ashley Jones, 29, from St Helens, has been remanded to appear at Manchester Magistrates' Court tomorrow, having been charged with conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said in a statement.

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Another man, aged 36, has been arrested and is being questioned in custody after handing himself in to police on Thursday.

The arrests follow the appearance in court yesterday of 13 alleged members of the gang, who are accused of importing cocaine, heroin and cannabis worth billions of pounds.

They were arrested in dawn raids across the country on Tuesday in an operation by the NCA.

The NCA said the gang was part of an international organised crime group and Britain's biggest drug smuggling operation ever uncovered.

Arrests were made in London, Manchester, Stockport, St Helens, Warrington, Bolton, Dewsbury, and Leeds.

The 13 have all been charged with conspiracy to import class A and class B drugs and appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Seven defendants were remanded into custody, the NCA said.

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.

Six others 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 next due to appear at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, on Thursday November 7.

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