EIGHT men have been arrested as part of a suspected organised crime group dealing in Class and B drugs and a fireman.
Two of the men were arrested in Warrington, one in Greater Manchester and five at locations across Liverpool, with the suspects’ ages ranging from 25 to 40.
The investigation emerged from Operation Venetic – the UK’s law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted communications platform EncroChat.
The OCG is believed to be led by two brothers, one of whom is believed to be in Dubai. The other was arrested in January and released on bail.
The NCA investigation is into the importation and supply of cocaine and cannabis, money laundering and a conspiracy to supply a firearm.
NCA Branch Commander Richard Davies said: “We suspect the men arrested to be part of an organised crime group that has been importing cocaine into the UK and selling it on across the country.
“As well as the international work the NCA does to fight Class A drugs coming into the UK, this investigation is an example of the work we do to keep drugs – and drug dealers – away from our communities where they have devastating consequences.
“We will continue to work with our partners abroad to target those at the top of the drugs chain, and UK partners such as Merseyside Police and Cheshire Police to protect the public.”