Dad and son charged after haul of new drug seized at airports

The pair were arrested in connection with the large-scale importation of a psychoactive drug called kratom.

Dad and son charged after haul of new drug seized at airports Getty Images

A father and son have been charged in connection with the large-scale importation of a new psychoactive drug.

The pair, aged 60 and 38, were arrested by Organised Crime Partnership officers in Bathgate, West Lothian, on Tuesday.

The arrests followed two seizures of kratom, one of 52 kilos at Edinburgh Airport on April 15, and another of 102 kilos at East Midlands Airport on May 6.

Kratom is a controlled substance under the New Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, traditionally grown in south-east Asia and used as a stimulant with opioid-like properties.

The two men were charged with importation, possession with intent to supply and offering for supply the drug, and have both been released pending a summons to appear before court on a future date.

Investigations are continuing.

National Crime Agency Scotland operations manager John McGowan said: “We estimate these seizures would have had a combined value of around £60,000 once sold on the black market.

“Kratom is a dangerous drug, and working with partners like Police Scotland and Border Force we are determined to do all we can to prevent such substances making it on to our streets and damaging the communities of Scotland.”

Deputy director Murdo MacMillan, head of Border Force Scotland, said: “These seizures have taken a large amount of dangerous psychoactive substances out of the hands of organised criminals and off our streets.

“Border Force will continue to work with the NCA and Police Scotland to bring those involved in smuggling to justice.”