FOUR men from Accrington and two from Clayton-le-Moors have been arrested in a police swoop which uncovered drugs believed to have been intended for sale at the World Cup in Germany.
Officers executed search warrants at addresses in the Spring Hill area of Accrington, Clayton and Blackburn on Wednesday morning, making seven arrests for various offences relating to the importation and supply of cocaine, the commercial production of skunk cannabis and the intention to supply counterfeit currency.
They found a commercial skunk cannabis operation in progress in a mill in Eden Street, Blackburn, which they believe was intended, once harvested, for distribution in Germany this summer.
The crackdown came as a result of an investigation by Lancashire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit into the supply of cocaine and amphetamines in the Accrington and Oswaldtwistle areas, and involved the use of undercover police officers.
Detective Inspector Dermott Horrigan of the unit said: "We were initially investigating the supply of cocaine and amphetamines and potential importation.
"During the course of that investigation we identified this unit in Blackburn. We are still trying to establish the amount and value of the drugs. It was not a huge enterprise but seemed to be a well-run operation.
"The indications are that it was their intention to take the drugs out to Germany, and we have stopped that. The quantity of drugs is unknown at this moment but any drugs we can take out of circulation has got to be a good thing.
"Also, we have certainly prevented some drugs from getting onto the streets of Accrington."
Two of the men arrested in Accrington were 35 years old and a 38-year-old and a 49-year-old were arrested in Clayton-le-Moors.
All of those arrested were being interviewed by police as the Observer went to press.