Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/22/police_arrest_online_cannabis_dealers/

Police arrest ‘online cannabis dealers’

Three Brits collared

By Drew Cullen

Posted in Media, 22nd December 2003 16:25 GMT

Police have arrested three Brits on suspicion of flogging a lot of cannabis over the Internet - almost half a million pounds worth.

In raids on three addresses this morning, police seized
evidence related to drug dealing and four computers. The three suspects are a 37-year old man and a 33-year old woman, from Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, and a 35-year old man from Brighton. Their bank accounts have been frozen.

The police say they "are suspected of running password-protected websites that are accessed by customers who place their orders for drugs which are then dispatched by post".

From Hertfordshire Constabulary, investigating officer Matt Cornish said: "During this unique investigation we established that large sums of money had gone through several bank accounts...We believe that this is the first case of its kind in the country and all the investigation team have been amazed by the amount of activity that these sites have had and the quantity of orders placed via the Internet."

The operation was a three-way effort, combining officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary and Sussex Police, and coordinated by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. &Reg;

Detective Superintendent, Mick Deats, Deputy Head of the NHTCU, said:

“Whether drugs are being sold on a street corner or over the Internet, we are committed to work together in the battle against drug trafficking. These arrests show that, with a little coordination, we can remove these people from the market – on or off-line.”

Sussex Detective Inspector Glen Jones said: "Today's operation is the culmination of several months of investigation into the selling of drugs over the Internet. We in Sussex have worked closely with Hertfordshire and the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit in obtaining evidence relating to a sophisticated drug trafficking network.”