Crown court date set for Dewsbury pair charged with importing drugs worth billions

Drugs found in the investigation by the National Crime Agency
Drugs found in the investigation by the National Crime Agency

Two men from Dewsbury accused of being a members of Britain's biggest ever drug smuggling gang have appeared in court.

Vojtech Dano, 38, and Ivan Turtak, 34, both of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury, were among a group of 13 men men charged with conspiracy to import class A and class B drugs and appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

They were arrested in dawn raids across the country on Tuesday in an operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA said the gang was part of an international organised crime group and Britain's biggest drug smuggling operation ever uncovered.

Arrests were made in London, Manchester, Stockport, St Helens, Warrington, Bolton, Dewsbury, and Leeds.

Seven defendants were remanded into custody, the NCA said. They are:

Ifthikar Hussain, 46, of Upland Grove, Oakwood

Paul Green, 54, of Eccleston, St Helens

Sohail Quereshi, 59, of Wood Crescent, White City, London

Mohammed Ovais, 41, of Bournlee Avenue, Burnage, Manchester

Khaleed Vazeer, 56, of Westwood Avenue, Timperley, Manchester

Steven Martin, 48, of Chorley Old Road, Bolton

Mark Peers, 55, of Norbeck Close, Warrington

Oliver Penter, 37, of Gladstone Street, Stockport

Six others were released on bail.

They are:

Vojtech Dano, 38, of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury

Ivan Turtak, 34, of Vulcan Gardens, Dewsbury

Ghazanfar Mahmood, 48, of Green Lane, Bolton

Andrew Reilly, 37, of Grange Park Road, St Helens

Paul Ruane, 58, of Bewsey Rd, Warrington

All 13 are next due to appear at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, on Thursday November 7.

Four men and two women from the Netherlands, who were arrested in April by the Dutch National Police on European Arrest Warrants, are currently awaiting extradition to the UK.