Police seek beach litter picker who found Class A drug haul

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Police are hunting for a litter picker after a drugs haul washed up on an Isle of Wight beach.

Holdalls containing hundreds of kilos of powder were found by litter pickers near St Catherine’s Lighthouse, on the southernmost tip of the island, on Saturday.

The haul comes after a fisherman discovered others in the sea off St Aldhelm’s Point and Durdle Door in Purbeck, Dorset, on Oct 2.

But police are now trying to track down a member of one litter-picking group who might have knowledge of Saturday’s discovery.

‘We would ask him to get in touch’

Stuart Murray, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight assistant chief constable, said: “There is a member of the litter-picking group, a man in his 60s, who we want to make contact with, as we continue to speak with everyone in the vicinity, and we would ask him to get in touch with us.

“He is of slim build, around 5ft 6in tall and had short grey hair, with a birthmark on the right side of his mouth.

“We would ask anyone who finds any suspicious bags or packages on the coastline of Hampshire and the island to get in touch with us immediately.”

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating with the help of Border Force, HM Coastguard and Dorset Police, which was first alerted by the fisherman.

Tracey Lake, an NCA senior investigating officer, said: “We believe this a significant amount of Class A drugs which would have originated in South America.

“A loss of a consignment of this size would represent a significant hit to the criminal networks involved.”

All of the packages recovered so far are being tested to establish their contents, quantity and estimated value.

Rachel Farrell, temporary deputy chief constable of Dorset Police, said: “Searches remain ongoing and I would ask anyone who finds a holdall or similar package in suspect circumstances to please not touch the item, but contact Dorset Police immediately.”

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