Thousands in cash and drugs have been seized after a major week-long operation on County Lines activity exploiting vulnerable people and children across Scotland.
Police discovered 64 believed to be cuckooed addresses – homes where a drug dealer or a gang takes over a vulnerable adult’s address for criminal purposes.
Twenty-nine vulnerable people were identified by police during the “national intensification week” between Monday, May 17, and Sunday, May 23.
Officers made 20 arrests and seized heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and cannabis with an estimated street value of £40,000.
Offensive weapons, including a taser, two machetes and two large knives, a number of mobile phones, a laptop and almost £500 of counterfeit cash, were seized. Over £20,000 in cash was recovered.
A package of high-purity cocaine, with a street value of more than £25,000, sent by post was intercepted and a search of a property in Simpson Place in Dingwall resulted in £40,000 worth of cannabis being recovered and a 32-year-old man being arrested.
Across the Highland and Islands division, £20,000 in cash and almost £500 in counterfeit notes were seized throughout the week. Officers recovered crack cocaine, heroin, and cocaine. Following the execution of a number of warrants over two kilograms of cannabis was recovered.
A raid on Balloan Road, Inverness, recovered £1000 in cash, mobile devices, £2500 worth of heroin and £1800 worth of crack cocaine.
A search of a house in Stafford Street, Aberdeen, saw two men, aged 36 and 45-years-old, arrested for allegedly being in possession of heroin.
A 42-year-old man was arrested in relation to possession of crack cocaine at a house in Granton Place, Aberdeen.
A 31-year-old man and a 25-year-old man were arrested for alleged possession of cannabis and officers also seized a total of £1,000 from the men.
A 27-year-old man was caught and arrested after he ran off from his car which police had stopped in Summerhill, Aberdeen.
A taser, over £5000 in cash, and crack cocaine of an estimated value of over £3000 was recovered during raids in the Methil and Kennoway areas of Fife.
Two men, from the Birmingham area, aged 20 and 22-years-old, were arrested and charged and were due to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday, May 20.
Warrants were executed at a number of properties in Perth. Two machetes, counterfeit bank notes, mobile devices and cash were recovered.
Heroin with a street value of over £600, cocaine worth almost £1500 and £,000 worth of cannabis were recovered from a property in Scott Street.
A 31-year-old man, from Bradford, was arrested after being found in possession of cocaine and cash after a raid at a house in Strathmore Street. Officers also recovered cocaine and mobile devices from a flat in Stanley Mills.
In Edinburgh, a stolen hire vehicle, believed to be used by County Line dealers, was recovered.
British Transport Police (BTP) County Lines Taskforce carried out a week-long clampdown with operations taking place across train routes and stations spanning the entirety of the UK – from Aberdeen to as far south as Plymouth.
Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable Pat Campbell, said: “County Lines gangs are not welcome in Scotland. They groom and exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities including children and young people. People are intimidated, coerced, threatened and force into storing or selling drugs.
“As ever, I would urge anyone with concerns to report them to Police Scotland or alternatively to Crimestoppers anonymously.”