Internet drugs swoop

POLICE have arrested more then 20 people – including one person in Suffolk – in a nationwide crackdown on class A drugs being bought on the internet.Drugs similar to ecstasy were also seized in the National Crime Squad (NCS) swoops over the last two weeks, codenamed Operation Ismene.

POLICE have arrested more then 20 people – including one person in Suffolk – in a nationwide crackdown on class A drugs being bought on the internet.

Drugs similar to ecstasy were also seized in the National Crime Squad (NCS) swoops over the last two weeks, codenamed Operation Ismene.

It was set up after an American man died from an overdose of the drug 2-CI, which had been bought from a website registered to a man in Las Vegas.

The Louisiana branch of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believed that Britons were among his customers worldwide, with parcels containing 2-CI allegedly being imported into the UK using courier services.

NCS deputy director general Jim Gamble said: "The Internet has become the street corner for many drug users and by working in partnership with the DEA, the Crime Squad and police forces throughout the country have been able to arrest people suspected of purchasing drugs online.

"This operation demonstrates our ability to respond to new crime trends and protect members of the public from harm.

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"Action taken over the last few weeks will hopefully prevent further deaths and overdoses.

"We are committed to identifying and preventing any illegal drug distribution through the use of the Internet.

"A drug supply route between the USA and the UK has been dismantled."

The drug 2-CI comes in a powder format and can be divided into doses of varying strengths and effects.

It can be mixed with liquid and swallowed, placed on blotting paper or included in capsule or tablet format.

Of those arrested 16 - one each in the Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, County Durham, Suffolk and Worcestershire police force areas, two each in Hertfordshire, Kent and the West Midlands and three in Leicestershire - have been released on bail. One man in Kent was charged with possession of class C drugs.

Five - one each in Avon and Somerset and Northamptonshire and three in Greater Manchester - have been cautioned, while one woman was released without charge in the West Midlands.

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