Three men from Caerphilly County Borough have been arrested after a number of drug raids were carried out by police across south Wales as part of a “huge, top-secret” UK-wide operation.
Around 60kg of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, worth an estimated £6.5m, as well as £2.5m in cash, was seized during the raids, which were carried out on Thursday (July 2).
Police “took down” what they described as a “bespoke encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals” during the raids.
Tarian – the Regional Organised Crime Unit (Tarian ROCU) has been working with Gwent Police, as well as South Wales Police, Dyfed Powys Police and the National Crime Agency over the last two months to target organised crime groups and drug dealers in south Wales, as part of UK-wide Operation Venetic.
Detective inspector Michelle Chaplin said: “Four men – three from the Caerphilly area aged 43, 37, 35 and a 28-year-old man from Cwmbran – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply a controlled substance – class A.
“They have now been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
“Gwent Police officers contributed to this huge, top-secret national operation by executing warrants in the Caerphilly and Torfaen areas.
“More than 75 officers were involved in the planned action against this organised crime group. During the searches drugs, cash, cars and jewellery were all seized, alongside encrypted mobile phones.
“All items seized are currently being analysed as part of this collaborative UK-wide investigation.”
Dave Thorne, South Wales Police’s assistant chief constable who is responsible for Tarian ROCU, said: “Operation Venetic has seen huge successes throughout the UK, with over two tonnes of drugs and millions of pounds in cash recovered, and hundreds of people arrested, charged and remanded in custody so far.
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“Locally, Tarian, working closely with the three southern Welsh police forces, has executed 38 warrants and 16 people have been arrested, charged and remanded in custody so far, a number of others are also being investigated.”
He added: “Illegal drugs have no place in our society and we will continue to work together to target those whose criminal activities blight the lives of the communities of southern Wales.
“We are committed to disrupting and dismantling organised crime groups, bringing people before the courts and removing drugs from our streets.”
Anyone with information about the supply of drugs can contact Gwent Police on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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