21/10/2015

Man Charged Over Airfield Cocaine Seizure

A 38-year-old man has been charged in connection with the seizure of seven kilos of cocaine at a North Yorkshire airfield.

Dean Ash, from Links Road, Acton, London, was arrested at Bagby Airfield near Thirsk on Sunday 18 October.



Border Force officers had attended the site to meet a light aircraft that had recently arrived from the Netherlands. They recovered around seven kilos of cocaine.



Following the seizure the investigation was handed to the National Crime Agency.



Ash appeared before Leeds Magistrates on Tuesday where he was remanded in custody to appear before Leeds Crown Court on 03 November.


Paul Tallentire, from the NCA's north east border investigation team, said: "This was a substantial seizure of cocaine which if cut and sold in the UK would have had a likely potential street value in excess of £1 million.



"Our investigation into this attempted importation is ongoing and I would urge anyone with information regarding suspicious movements in or around UK airfields to get in touch, either by calling the police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


"Working with law enforcement partners like Border Force and North Yorkshire Police we are determined to do all we can to prevent small airfields being used for criminal purposes."

Mark Robinson, Assistant Director of Border Force Yorkshire & Humber, added: "By thwarting this smuggling attempt we have stopped a sizeable amount of cocaine making it onto the streets of the UK.


"Seizures like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the country."


Last year Border Force, the NCA and UK police forces launched Project Pegasus, a multi-agency campaign encouraging people living and working close to small airports to report unusual activity associated with general aviation.

General aviation includes aircraft such as microlights, helicopters, and business jets, and activities such as aerial surveys, deliveries, corporate flights and leisure flying.

(MH/CD)

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