Waltham Forest drugs gang busted over ‘largest-ever stash’ of synthetic opioids

Met Police seize 150,000 tablets of Nitazene after a series of raids across Waltham Forest and Enfield boroughs

The seized stash of 'synthetic opiods' (credit Met Police)
The seized stash of 150,000 Nitazene tablets (credit Met Police)

Eleven members of a criminal gang have been arrested and charged by detectives who have seized the UK’s largest-ever stash of synthetic opioids.

Officers working with the UK Border Agency raided a number of addresses in Waltham Forest and Enfield as part of a national UK law enforcement effort to investigate the increase in synthetic opioid products being “adulterated” into the drugs supply network.

At a Waltham Forest address they recovered approximately 150,000 tablets of Nitazene, a synthetic opioid, in a sophisticated factory set up.

A substantial amount of other class A and B drugs, a firearm, a pill-pressing machine, over £60,000 in cash and £8,000 in cryptocurrency stored in various hard drives were also seized, along with a large quantity of mobile phones and laptops.

It is suspected the drugs were sold via the dark web, using encrypted chat applications and social media.

The eleven people were arrested between 21st August and 21st November. All have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs.

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, leading the investigation, said: “Synthetic opioids have been detected in batches of heroin found in London and across the UK; they substantially raise the risk of incredibly serious harm to the user and are believed to be linked to a number of deaths.

“We are working closely with partners to monitor and proactively tackle this issue, provide advice and remove the availability of these dangerous drugs from our streets.

“The public health advice remains that illegal drugs should not be consumed. There are support services available for people who need help. Anyone who has consumed synthetic opioids and experiences the symptoms described should seek urgent medical treatment.”

Anyone wanting to provide information, seek advice or request help should contact their local drug information system (LDIS) or or from the FRANK helpline on 0800 77 66 00. A list of alcohol and drug support networks in London can be found here.