Drug haul unit council-owned

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TIGHTER checks on industrial units have been called for following the seizure of an estimated £40 million of cocaine at a council-owned premises.

Suffolk Police found 174kg of the drug at Unit 1 of Brandon Industrial Estate in Highbury Road last Tuesday, with two 56-year-old men being charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs last Thursday.

It has now emerged that the unit is owned by Forest Heath District Council and members have called for tighter checks on units in light of the haul.

Cllr Tim Huggan said criminals would target Forest Heath buildings if checks were not more stringent.

“The council never checks the properties properly and so criminals are going to work out that if you are in Forest Heath you’re in little danger of getting picked up.

“When they check them, I’m not even sure they go through the door and more needs to be done,” he said.

The security of the units was brought further into question just two days after the drugs raid, when thieves broke into an adjacent council-owned unit and stole a number of jars of jam.

Cllr Tony Simmons said that although crime on the estate had been a problem in the past, it was important that the council did not become intrusive when making checks.

“The owners there are doing business and we have to assume they are acting above board – you’re not expecting to find a drugs haul.

“Getting the staff for that kind of operation would cost a lot of money, too,” he said.

Two men have been charged in connection with the haul.

Terrance Smith, of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford, and Frederick Colverson, of Galsworthy Avenue, London appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court last Friday.

Smith is the director of 24/7 Import Export, the company which operates from Unit 1, Highbury Road. Colverson is unemployed.