Man arrested after equipment to produce illegal drugs linked to spike in Scottish drug deaths

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A man suspected of supplying equipment to produce illegal drugs linked to a spike in Scottish drug deaths has been arrested.

The man, in his 30s, was arrested on suspicion of drug dealing and money laundering at an address in Swindon on Thursday June 9.

It comes as National Crime Agency (NCA) officers investigated an English company allegedly supplying drug equipment.

This included supplying pill presses, tampons and mixing agents to organized crime groups involved in the manufacture and sale of “street valium”.

Also known as “street benzos,” the NCA says the pills are sold at low prices, sometimes for less than the price of a bar of chocolate.

They are known to be responsible for a growing percentage of drug-related deaths in the UK, but particularly in Scotland.

Today’s arrest follows a series of raids which were carried out by Police Scotland in Dalry, Paisley and Glasgow in early 2020.

These led to the seizure of pills, presses and pill-making equipment and the imprisonment of five men for a total of 19 years.

NCA Branch Commander Colin Williams said: ‘This investigation has resulted in the seizure of items which we believe were used in the production of illegal ‘street valium’ tablets.

“We urge people to avoid taking these drugs – they can be deadly.

“They are destroying lives and having a catastrophic impact on our communities.

“The NCA and our partners are committed to continuing our work to remove both the substances and the equipment used to produce them and to target the organized crime groups involved in their distribution.”

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