Thirteen arrested in police drugs operation

Sports car, cash and drugs seized as part of organised crime investigation


A £100,000 sports car, around £40,000 cash and hundreds of cannabis plants have been seized as part of an investigation into a suspected organised crime group operating across the South East.


Thirteen men were also arrested following a number of warrants carried out on the morning of Wednesday 12 August 2020 at addresses in Ashford, Canterbury, Maidstone and Swale, as well as in Bristol, Essex, Hertfordshire and London.


A cannabis factory containing approximately 500 plants was discovered at an address in Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire, while two smaller grows containing a total of around 450 plants were located in Ashford.


Among the people arrested for offences including drug supply and money laundering were:


  • A 24-year-old man at an address in Week Street, Maidstone, where around £2,500 cash was seized;


  • A 34-year-old man at a property in Victoria Crescent, Ashford, where a quantity of cannabis plants were discovered;


  • A 34-year-old man at a property in Lucilla Avenue, Ashford;


  • A 40-year-old man from an address in Essetford Road, Ashford, where a quantity of cannabis plants were discovered;


  • An 18-year-old man at a hotel in Folkestone;


  • A 31-year-old man at a property in Maple Street, Sheerness;


  • Three men aged in their 20s and 30s at an address in Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire;


  • A 49-year-old man at a property in London Colney, Hertfordshire;


  • Two men arrested at a property on Canvey Island, Essex, and a third who surrendered to custody;


  • A 26-year-old man at a property in Romford, east London, where approximately £12,000 cash and an Audi R8 sports car suspected to have been purchased through the proceeds of crime were seized.


The investigation is being led by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, who were assisted on the day by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and Hertfordshire Constabulary.


Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Kris Eberlein said: ‘Disrupting organised criminality is a priority for Kent Police and we run a variety of operations to target those who bring associated criminality to Kent, including drugs but also other linked offences such as violent crime.


‘The money earned through the sale of cannabis on an industrial scale is often linked to more serious criminality such as human trafficking and modern slavery, and the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.


‘Kent Police is committed to reducing the harm caused by all drugs and are sending out a very clear message to criminals that the sale of such illegal substances will not be tolerated.’