NINE HELD IN DRUGS SWOOP; City Raid by 80 Officers 'Success'

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), May 17, 2003 | Go to article overview

NINE HELD IN DRUGS SWOOP; City Raid by 80 Officers 'Success'


Byline: MARK COWAN

MAIL Crime Correspondent MARK COWAN joins West Midlands Police as the force launches its latest offensive in the war on drugs.

NINE people were arrested as police raided a suspected drugs den in inner-city Birmingham. Officers stormed the building, housing a hair and nail salon, yesterday following a three-month-long investigation into drug dealing in Sparkbrook.

Inside the labyrinthine three-storey building, police also found a suspected CD counterfeiting operation tucked away in the basement.

The upstairs rooms were being used as a meeting place for men, mainly from the city's Somali community, to take khat, a mild hallucinogenic plant that is legal in this country but banned in Europe, America and Canada.

Users of khat, also known as African Salad and Bushman's Tea, chew the leaves and claim the drug lifts spirits and the effects are said to be similar but not as intense as cocaine.

In total, nine people were arrested for a variety of offences including assault.

One of the main targets of the operation was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences. …

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