Group of ‘suspected drug smugglers’ arrested after targeted raids across North West

GMP says the group were responsible for importing high-strength cannabis into the UK.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 5th January 2024

Eight “suspected drug smugglers” have been arrested after a series of targeted police raids took place across the North West yesterday.

The arrests were part of what was a major Greater Manchester Police (GMP) operation targeting a suspected organised crime group that imported high-strength cannabis into the UK.

After GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group (SOCG) coordinated 16 simultaneous warrants across Manchester, Cheshire, West Yorkshire, and Lancashire in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday 4 January), an organised crime group that was suspected to be facilitating the importation of cannabis from the US was targeted.

Police and partners from the Border Force intercepted over 100 kilos of cannabis during the raids, GMP confirmed.

During a search of the properties, police also recovered £500k cash, and a BMW M4.


Following the series of targeted raids, a total of eight people – who are all between the ages of 18 and 52 – have been arrested on suspicion of importation of cannabis.

They currently remain in police custody for questioning.


According to GMP, it’s believed that each of the now-arrested individuals had various roles within the conspiracy, and these roles ranged from orchestrating the importation, to arranging payment for the shipments, and selling the drugs to criminals across the UK.

GMP believes the total value of the cannabis seized so far to exceed the £3 million mark.

Speaking following the successful raids this week, Detective Inspector Claire Rawcliffe, who is from GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group, commented: “I’m grateful to Border Force and colleagues from our neighbouring forces for the support they have provided to our ongoing operation and investigation.


“So far, over £3 million of worth of cannabis has been seized.

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“But we will continue to work with our partners to identify and prevent the new and innovative methods criminals take to smuggle illegal drugs into our country.”

Featured Image – GMP