A major National Crime Agency-led operation targeting a suspected organised crime group alleged to have used an insider at Sheerness port in Kent has resulted in the arrest and charging of seven men and the seizure of around 1.2 tonnes of cocaine. 1.2 tonnes of cocaine seizedIn the early hours of yesterday morning (20 December) a cordon was put around the port and more than one hundred officers - including the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit and specialist firearms teams from Kent Police - moved in to carry out the strike. The operation follows an NCA investigation into a group suspected of plotting with a port worker to smuggle significant amounts of class A into the UK drugs market through Sheerness. The investigation has been supported by Border Force and carried out with the co-operation of the port operator. ‘Insider threat’ or ‘corrupt enablers’ are a priority for the NCA. Selling knowledge of systems or allowing access to restricted areas allows OCGs to smuggle illicit commodities such as firearms or drugs, or the movement of vulnerable people and children through organised immigration crime. The operation saw a 27-year-old man who worked as a security guard at the port arrested alongside five others. A seventh man was detained at his home in Hertfordshire.