FIVE people have been arrested following the discovery of a £10million amphetamine laboratory in outbuildings on Ullenhall Lane, near Redditch.
Warwickshire Police and the National Crime agency (NCA), who carried out the drug raid on April 27, believe the crime group were producing around one tonne of amphetamine per month – worth £2million at wholesale and up to £10million at street level.
An investigation began after text messages were obtained by French police during the penetration of the encrypted phone network, Encrochat, last year.
Two men, aged 40 and 60, were arrested in Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire over the incident.
A third man, aged 50, from Quinton, Birmingham – suspected of operating the lab – was apprehended at his home address.
Two other individuals, a man aged 36 and a woman aged 28, were arrested at a building on the site.
All five remain in custody.
NCA branch commander Peter Stevens said: “This illicit drugs lab was producing extremely large amounts of amphetamine for distribution to crime groups across the UK and into our communities, bringing with it violence, fear and exploitation.
“The operation, which required a huge amount of planning to ensure it was conducted safely, will have had a huge impact on the organised crime groups involved, depriving them of commodity and profit.
“This work also shows the value and power of working with law enforcement agencies, including Warwickshire Police who have provided specialist resources, to take down criminals.”
Assistant chief constable Alex Franklin Smith, of Warwickshire Police, said: “We have worked closely with our colleagues in the NCA to support this operation with significant and specialist resources and are confident that the impact it will have on the organised criminal gangs involved will be huge.
“We are absolutely committed to tackling the drugs trade and protecting people from all the harms it brings.
“Such an operation taking place in such a quiet, rural location will no doubt have caused some concerns for local people. Our officers will be working in the community in the coming days to provide reassurance.”
Searches of the farm buildings are ongoing, with support from specialist teams from West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and the West Midlands Ambulance Service.