Police officers from London Regional Organised Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency have arrested two people in connection with a Nottingham-based manufacturing unit producing new psychoactive substances (NPS) – also called “legal highs”.
Police arrested a 32-year-old male and a 30-year-old-female in the London area, following drugs seizures from the manufacturing unit in Nottingham in August.
The National Trading Standards Scambuster Team East Midlands – and officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), supported by the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) in both the East Midlands and London Regions – are investigating the activities of a group responsible for the manufacture and nationwide distribution of the products, says Nottinghamshire County Council.
On 12 August, a warrant was executed by officers from Nottinghamshire Police, EMSOU and the Scambuster Team at an industrial unit in Harworth, Nottinghamshire, where drug seizures were made.
Officers discovered that the unit was being used to manufacture “significant quantities” of NPS – police inquiries have revealed the “legal highs” were being distributed on a nationwide basis, with the value of the raw material and finished product seized estimated to run into millions of pounds.
Police also arrested two workers from Lincolnshire present at the unit when the warrants were executed – and later a third person from Lincolnshire, who has been interviewed by Scambuster investigators. All three have been bailed as the investigation continues, with further arrests expected.
Nottinghamshire County Council hosts the Scambuster team, which works across the region to target organised criminals who prey on some of the most vulnerable people in East Midlands communities.
Nottinghamshire County Council has also welcomed proposals for a blanket ban on so called “legal highs”, which was outlined in the Queen’s Speech.
Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council's Community Safety Committee, Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, said:
“Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards team is working with Nottinghamshire Police, National Trading Standards Scambuster Team East Midlands and other local partners, to use the legislation currently in place to tackle the sale of NPS – and will continue with our efforts to remove them from circulation.
“We are concerned that people are putting their lives at risk by consuming untested chemicals, that unscrupulous traders continue to sell.”
Chair of National Trading Standards, Lord Toby Harris, added:
“These so-called 'legal highs' would be better called 'potentially lethal highs' –
and this investigation sends a strong signal that we will not sit back while criminals manufacture and supply products that put people in harm’s way.
“Consumer safety is a top priority for National Trading Standards and that is why these arrests are so important.
“I commend the National Trading Standards Scambuster Team East Midlands and all other parties involved in this operation.”
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