14 December 2016
National Crime Agency officers have today (Wednesday 14 December) arrested eleven people in connection with a major investigation into a number of airport workers and their associates, suspected of smuggling drugs through Heathrow.
The ten men and a woman, all aged between 24 and 60, were detained following a series of coordinated raids involving around 125 NCA investigators, assisted by officers from the Metropolitan Police, Bedfordshire Police and Border Force across London and the south east early this morning.
Three of the men are baggage handlers working at the airport.
All eleven were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import class A drugs and are now being questioned at police stations around London.
Today's operation follows a number of seizures of drugs at Heathrow over a 15 month period, totalling around 100 kilos of cocaine and 50 kilos of cannabis.
The NCA's senior investigating officer David Reynders said:
"Large scale drug smuggling through UK airports is high risk for organised criminals. Today's operation was coordinated to strike simultaneously at as many parts of the suspected drugs ring as possible.
"The NCA is grateful for the support and co-operation of the airport authorities and Border Force, all of whom have a vested interest in protecting the security of our borders."
Those arrested and bailed pending further investigation are:
1. 51-year-old man from Grays, Essex, arrested at a location in South West London
2. 54-year-old man arrested at an address in Hayes, London
3. 26-year old man arrested at an address in Stoke Newington
4. 24-year-old woman arrested at the same address
5. 60-year-old man arrested at an address in Chigwell, Epping Forest
6. 40-year-old man from Slough, arrested at a location near Heathrow Airport
Addresses were also attended at locations in Bedford and Penge, Bromley
Attached photos show arrest of two men at the address in Stoke Newington.