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£4.5million cannabis seized in Oswaldtwistle warehouse raid

Drugs seized in the warehouse in Commercial Street, Oswaldtwistle

Police have uncovered a drugs operation with an estimated street value of £4.5million in what is thought to be one of the biggest ever drugs seizures in Lancashire.

The discovery was made on Wednesday afternoon by neighbourhood officers, who were making enquiries in the area and noticed a strong smell which led them to a building on Commercial Street, Oswaldtwistle.

Among items seized in the warehouse, which is believed to have been used as a drugs distribution centre, were numerous boxes filled with pre-packaged bags of what is believed at this stage to be cannabis resin and cannabis bush.

Officers were at the scene on Wednesday night, joined by crime scene investigators yesterday, but the set-up has now been dismantled.

No arrests have currently been made in connection with the discovery, but enquiries are progressing.

Police are now appealing for witnesses and are asking anybody with information or CCTV footage from the area to come forward.

DCI Tim Brown, from East Lancashire CID, said: “This significant discovery was the result of fantastic pro-active police work, initially by neighbourhood policing team officers. It should send out a strong message that organised criminal activity will not be tolerated by Lancashire Police and we will seek out and dismantle their bases for their illegal activity. I hope the local community is also reassured that the neighbourhood policing team will listen to concerns surrounding criminal activity and act on information that is received.

“While the investigation is still at an early stage, enquiries are progressing and I would encourage anybody who has seen unusual activity around this sight in recent months to contact police.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “Operations like this demonstrate that the police have the resources, skills and determination to keep the people of Lancashire safe

“The crucial work carried out by Lancashire officers in keeping drugs off our streets achieves real results like this that make our communities safer.

“Our officers’ hard work and determination is key in reassuring the public that no stone is left unturned in stopping criminal gangs.”

Anyone with information should call Lancashire Police on 101, quoting log 0994 of August 26, 2020. Alternatively, contact independent charity Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.

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