Lowestoft pair charged after string of raids seize cars and cash

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate with some of the seized items.

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate with some of the seized items. - Credit: Kent Police Twitter

A man and a woman have appeared in court following dawn raids at two properties in Lowestoft.

They were among a series of arrests as part of a wider investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate and HMRC officers.

Doors were smashed in as simultaneous raids were held at 28 properties across the South East last Wednesday morning (March 23) as part of a special joint operation to crack down on organised crime.

Luxury watches, cars, designer goods, artwork and more than £400,000 in cash was seized during the raids.

Some 14 warrants were executed at properties across Kent, with seven raids in Sussex, three in London, two in Essex and two in Lowestoft.

With officers targeting a suspected organised crime group, in total 17 people were arrested from the 28 warrants.

Since then, eight people have been charged with conspiring to supply cocaine – including one woman from Kirkley in Lowestoft.

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One man from Carlton Colville in Lowestoft was charged with concealing criminal property and a man from Tonbridge was charged with fraud by false representation.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Ten people have been charged and £10 million worth of assets restrained following a morning of warrant activity with officers targeting a suspected organised crime group involved in complex fraud and supplying huge quantities of cocaine.

"Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officers were also present at several scenes and they are working in partnership with serious crime detectives as enquiries continue."

Jessie Cockle, 28, of Kimberley Road, Kirkley, Lowestoft was charged with conspiring to supply cocaine.

Carl Crabtree, 40, of Colsterdale, Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, has been charged with concealing criminal property.

They, along with eight others, appeared at Medway Magistrates’ Court last Friday, March 25 and have been remanded in custody ahead of their next appearance at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, April 22.

A further seven people were released on bail, pending further enquiries, until Wednesday, April 20.

Following the arrests of Cockle and Crabtree in the separate raids in Lowestoft, a Kent Police spokesman told this newspaper: "Both suspects appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Friday, March 25 and were remanded in custody.

"Their next appearance will be at Maidstone Crown Court on April 22."