Police teams working together in a combined operation code-named Op Mille, seized drugs worth hundreds of millions of pounds it can be revealed.
Figures just released show a series of co-ordinated raids targeting organised crime groups (OCGs) across the South West, netted huge quantities of cannabis and cocaine.
Based on current intelligence, police estimate the amount of cannabis seized could have been worth up to £13m on the drugs market; cocaine was valued at around a quarter of a million pounds.
Numbers showing the volume of cannabis and cocaine, confiscated by officers from the region’s five police forces – and their estimated value – have been released by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, as follows:
- 13,522 cannabis plants
- 164,11 kilos of cannabis
- Estimated total value: £3,786,160 – £12,999,580
- Cocaine 1.35 kilos
- Estimated value: £93,200 – £233,000
“Estimates on the street value of drugs can vary, depending on the quality of the product”, a Gloucestershire officer explained “And like everything else you can buy, prices may go up and down. But we can be confident that these figures are based on current rates”.
In one raid in Gloucestershire, drugs with an estimated street value of at least £50,000 were seized from the basement of a former restaurant in Cheltenham. Nearly 100 plants were removed from the property in Albion Street, after the landlord raised concerns and the letting agency discovered what was being cultivated.
It was one of more than 15 warrants carried out as the Constabulary’s contribution to Op Mille.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Chris Nelson said, “This was an excellent result. A positive reward for good planning and enforcement and more evidence of the value of closer collaboration.
“It’s also further proof of how important this market is to criminal gangs and why we must strive to show them that the South West is “No place for drugs.”
The South West’s results are part of a nationally coordinated operation to unearth and disrupt OCGs by taking out a key source of their revenue, while simultaneously apprehending many of those involved, safeguarding those being exploited, and increasing intelligence around how the networks operate.
Anyone with information about a potential cannabis cultivation or drug dealing can contact their local force online or via 101.
People can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org