Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Michael Howie

Police seize UK’s largest ever stash of synthetic opioids in Waltham Forest

Eleven members of a criminal gang have been arrested and charged by detectives who have seized the UK’s largest ever stash of synthetic opioids.

Detectives working with the UK Border Agency raided a number of addresses in Waltham Forest and Enfield on 24 October. It was part of a national UK law enforcement effort to investigate the increase in synthetic opioid products being adulterated into the drugs supply network.

At an address in Waltham Forest they recovered approximately 150,000 tablets of Nitazene, a synthetic opioid, in a sophisticated factory set up.

A substantial amount of other class A and B drugs, a firearm, a pill pressing machine, over £60,000 in cash and £8,000 in cryptocurrency stored in various hard drives were also seized, along with a large quantity of mobile phones and laptops.

It is suspected the drugs were sold via the Dark Web, using encrypted chat applications and social media.

Eleven people have been arrested between 21 August and 21 November. All have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, leading the investigation, said: “Synthetic opioids have been detected in batches of heroin found in London and across the UK; they substantially raise the risk of incredibly serious harm to the user and are believed to be linked to a number of deaths.

“We are working closely with partners to monitor and proactively tackle this issue, provide advice and remove the availability of these dangerous drugs from our streets.”

Anyone wanting to provide information, seek advice or request help should contact their Local Drug Information System (LDIS) or or from the FRANK helpline on 0800 77 66 00. A list of alcohol and drug support networks in London can be found here.

Police have highlighted the symptoms from consumed a synthetic opioid. They include small, narrowed pupils, drowsiness, difficulties breathing, cold and clammy skin and low blood pressure or decreased heart rate.

Detective Superintendent Rance added: “The public health advice remains that illegal drugs should not be consumed. There are support services available for people who need help. Anyone who has consumed synthetic opioids and experiences the symptoms described should seek urgent medical treatment.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.