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£50,000 worth of illegal tobacco seized in Melksham

The seized tobacco.

The seized tobacco.

WILTSHIRE Police undertook its biggest day of action with the biggest haul coming in Melksham where £50,000 worth of illegal tobacco was seized. 

The day, supported by Operation Harness, saw more than 400 police officers and staff execute approximately 70 warrants.  The operation was the second part of a long-term undercover operation investigating the supply of Class A drugs in Wiltshire. In addition to the results reported, Wiltshire Police also seized approximately £50,000 worth of illegal tobacco from an address in Melksham.

Two further arrests were made in the days following the operation, bringing the total number of arrests made as a result of this operation to 47.

As a direct results of the day’s activity in Wiltshire:

• A total of 47 people were arrested (6 of these arrests were made in London)

•A large amount of class A drugs were seized

• £11,500 in cash was seized

• £65,000 (street value) of illegal tobacco was seized

•Approximately 70 addresses were raided, 15 of these were in London

• Over £5,000 in designer clothing/accessories were seized

• Weapons seized included a samurai sword and a machete seized

• A number of electrical goods were also seized

Senior investigating officer for the covert operation, Detective Inspector Mike Rees said, “This sends a strong message out to anyone who sees Wiltshire as an easy target or Wiltshire Police as a soft touch. We will not tolerate anyone setting up a drugs network in Wiltshire and we will put all of our resources into bringing those involved to justice.  As predicted, we will continue to locate and arrest those outstanding suspects in the coming days and will not rest until we have completed this task. The operation was the culmination of over a year’s hard work from our undercover officers who are putting themselves at risk by associating with known criminals, often without any protection, to build up the intelligence we need for an operation like this. I would like to pay my personal respects to these officers – I have total admiration for what they do.”

Anyone wishing to report suspected drug use or dealing in their area should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.