Search warrants have been executed at 16 properties in the Buchan area as Police Scotland's North East Division continues its crackdown on serious organised crime.
Ten people were charged following the raids in Fraserburgh and Peterhead yesterday (Thursday December 1) during a day of intelligence-led enforcement action to disrupt and dismantle Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) intent on supplying illegal drugs in both towns.
Officers from CID Proactive assisted by colleagues from Community Policing Teams, the Operational Support Unit and Divisional Violence Reduction Unit, as well as dog handlers and a drug search dog also recovered around £1,600 in cash.
In addition officers carried out extensive enquiries at various premises throughout the area to gather further intelligence about where and when illegal activity may be taking place.
Officers will also be out in the area in the coming days carrying out additional high visibility patrols, and are today appealing directly to local people to help ensure the North East is an unwelcome, hostile place for criminals to operate by coming forward and reporting any suspicious activity.
Detective Inspector Stuart McAdam, lead for tackling organised crime in the North East, said: "These criminals are intent on only one thing, and that's making money at the expense of law-abiding people and businesses.
"The majority of them come from outwith the North East so therefore don't care about the consequences their actions can have on the communities they're operating within.
"The North East of Scotland remains one of the safest places to live and work and in the last year alone officers have seized around £1million worth of drugs under Operation Aspen, our Division-wide initiative to tackle drugs.
"However we know there are still criminal networks operating within certain community's which is why days of targeted action like this are crucial to tackle the issue permanently. These criminals exploit and prey on the most vulnerable people within society - people who can end up taking serious risks for others gain, and it won't be tolerated.
"From a Policing perspective we're committed to reducing the harmful effects drugs can have and making the North East a hostile place for such crime, however it's the local community who can play the most crucial role of all by telling us when and where suspicious activity is happening. These communities belong to you - not them - and by having the confidence to tell us your concerns we can make it very difficult for organised crime groups to operate.
"Our activity will not stop at this and we will continue to take action to stop the supply of drugs and associated crime across the North East. I would encourage anyone who has suspicions that an individual may be involved in serious organised crime or the illegal drugs trade to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous."
Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Elaine Logue added: "Drugs breed nothing but further crime and anti-social behaviour and I cannot stress how unwanted they are in our communities. Do you have suspicions that a neighbour might be dealing drugs? Or are you a business owner who has concerns about a customer? Let your local officers know so that we can take action as quickly as possible to deter, disrupt and detect such activity.
“I hope that this targeted action will act as reassurance to the public that Police Scotland is doing all it can to make the area you live as safe as possible. Officers will be carrying out additional patrols in the coming days and I would urge anyone with concerns to approach them and let them know."