North West Regional Organised Crime Unit

Operation Acton

This case was an investigation undertaken by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit into the importation and distribution of heroin in Merseyside.

Intelligence received by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan) indicated that a consignment of heroin was being imported from Turkey to the UK and was concealed within the back of a fireplace due to be delivered to an address in Merseyside.

On Wednesday, October 21, 2009 officers from the Regional Crime Unit (RCU) observed the delivery of the fireplace at the property in Merseyside to ascertain who would take receipt of the item. 

Officers entered the address shortly after the delivery of the fireplace and arrested the occupant who had a screwdriver in his hand. The fireplace had been unwrapped and the back had been partially dismantled.

Officers seized 12kg of heroin with a street value of £600,000.

Following the arrest of the man, officers subsequently executed a warrant issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 at another address in Merseyside. During the search officers discovered that the business was being ran solely from abstracted electricity making the building unsafe and resulting in its immediate closure by the utilities company.

Officers could smell a strong aroma of cannabis and forced entry through a locked upstairs bedroom door where they discovered a small cannabis factory with around 30 cannabis plants in an advanced stage of cultivation with an estimated street value of £11,500.

Following the arrest of the occupier a mobile phone in his possession was examined and found to contain photographs taken at his home address with drugs and money.