Over 400 drugs and weapons parcels seized in a year

Hundreds of parcels were intercepted by crime fighters last year. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Hundreds of parcels were intercepted by crime fighters last year. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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HUNDREDS of parcels containing weapons and drugs bound for Scotland have been seized by serious crime fighters.

The National Crime Agency, working with the UK Border Force, have seized 324 consignments containing drugs and 169 parcels containing weapons since October last year.

Knuckledusters and batons are the most popular weapons posted to Scotland, but crimefighters have also seized a shotgun, a pistol, a high powered air rifle, stun guns, realistic imitation firearms, swords and a variety of knives.

Martial arts weapons such as nunchucks, throwing stars and knives have also been seized.

Drugs sent in the post include cocaine, crack, cannabis including cannabis chocolate, magic mushrooms, MDMA, ecstasy, khat, steroids and human growth hormones.

John McGowan, of the NCA, said: “The postal and fast parcel system is just one of the ways criminals try to smuggle contraband into Scotland.

“Most of the weapons we see coming in this way are Section 5 firearms like stun guns and sprays, as well as realistic imitation guns.

“There are rarely gun parts or real firearms, and most of those we do see are legal and licensed. In terms of drugs, there is a lot of prescription drugs like Diazepam, a lot of herbal cannabis, and new psychoactive substances imported from China.

“It’s a high-risk tactic to choose. The NCA works very closely with its partners in Border Force to intercept illegal consignments.

“Since October we have seized over 150 weapons packages and over 300 drugs packages being sent through the post. Where we have actionable intelligence we will follow it.

“Some of the weapons coming in aren’t illegal in the countries of origin.

“In fact the NCA is running a campaign this summer to remind people not to bring back stun guns from overseas where they may have been able to buy them easily and so assumed they are legal here.

“Other weapons would need to be ordered via dark web marketplaces, and the NCA’s cyber crime unit works actively with international partners to disrupt and close down those forums.”