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Three men suspected of a plot to import significant amounts of heroin into the UK from Afghanistan - destined for County Lines networks - have been arrested as part of a National Crime Agency investigation.

NCA  car logo A 46-year-old Afghan national was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to import heroin, as officers raided his home on Brown Street, Wolverhampton, on Wednesday 16 December. Following interview he has since been bailed.

Two others were arrested simultaneously in Kabul, Afghanistan, by local officers in connection with the investigation. A number of premises were searched in Kabul, including a heroin production lab.

The activity is part of an NCA investigation into a large scale conspiracy to import heroin from Afghanistan to the UK. The men are believed to be members of an organised crime group who were planning to send significant quantities of heroin from Afghanistan to the UK on a regular basis.

NCA investigators suspect the heroin was destined for County Lines networks in the UK, who would then transport it round the country using young and vulnerable people.

NCA Operations Manager, Tudor Thomas, said: “This activity is a stark warning to organised criminals involved in County Lines. If you think you can flood our streets with potentially deadly drugs, and exploit vulnerable people in doing so, you are sorely mistaken.

“Young and vulnerable victims of the County Lines trade are subjected to violence and intimidation at the hands of criminals, and it is those importing heroin into the UK that are fuelling this.

“This operation demonstrates the NCA’s unique capabilities in tackling serious organised crime from global to local level; working across international borders to stem the flow of potentially deadly drugs.

“Working alongside Afghan law enforcement, and supported by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, we believe we have been able to thwart a plot to bring large amounts of heroin into the UK.”

17 December 2020