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2 more Americans charged with smuggling cannabis into London


On Wednesday, British law enforcement officers announced they arrested two Americans who allegedly brought cannabis from Los Angeles to London in checked baggage, bringing the number of such arrests to double digits.

The day prior, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency announced they had arrested nine people for their accused smuggling of more than 340 kilograms — about 750 pounds — of cannabis worth $6.7 million (or £5.5 million).

With the newest pair of arrests at Heathrow Airport, the total number of arrests stands at 11 and the total confiscated amount of cannabis is more than 400 kilograms, or about 880 pounds, the NCA said in a news release.

“In light of this unusual series of seizures, law enforcement will undoubtedly be paying more attention to passengers on the Los Angeles to London route and stepping up checks,” NCA Heathrow Branch Commander Andy Noyes said. “Our investigation into these events continues, but I’m making a direct appeal to anyone considering getting involved in transporting drugs to the UK. Think very carefully about the consequences … It simply isn’t worth the risk.”

All of the arrests took place between Jan. 10 and 17, and British authorities said each seizure amounted to between 30 and 47 kilograms of cannabis.

The Americans arrested before Tuesday are Kiara Lanee Malone, Sabrina Desiree Hobby, Zohrab Idzhyan, Anthony Sarkis Hoffman, Ara Janneh, Madani Ba Jr., Dana Ree Freeman, Kerri Marie Hall and Zered Afuhia-I-Moana Akolo.

Two more Americans, a man and a woman, both 34 years old, were arrested Tuesday, but their names have not yet been released.


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