FOUR men from Bolton are among six who have been charged in connection with a £12 million cocaine haul hidden in sacks of paprika and boxes of milk powder.

The arrests come after the National Crime Agency (NCA) seized more than 47kg of cocaine in two separate incidents.

After investigators found 45kg of cocaine hidden in sacks of paprika in Rotterdam, they then watched as "dummy" sacks were delivered via Tilbury Docks to yard in Liverpool.

The NCA is now appealing for the public's help to identify a man who was seen unloading a lorry containing the sacks.

He could be from Merseyside, Greater Manchester or Lancashire, the NCA said.

The second load of cocaine - about 2kg hidden in boxes of milk powder - was seized in a raid on a "virtual office" in Bradford.

The arrests follow a two-year joint investigation by the NCA and West Yorkshire police.

Six men have been charged with conspiracy to import cocaine: Salim Patel, aged 32, of Armadale Road, Ladybridge; John Sherry, aged 65, of Cedar Grove, Maghull, Liverpool; Faizal Nanlawala, aged 29, of Bolton Road, Bolton; Kabir Master, aged 31, of Sefton Lane, Horwich; Imran Aya, aged 32, of Dinsdale Drive, Deane; and Sohail Khojani, aged 31, of Elsmore Road, Fallowfield, Manchester.


Patel, Nanlawala, Aya and Khojani have also been charged with the conspiracy relating to the Bradford seizure.

All six appeared at Manchester City Magistrates Court this afternoon and were released on conditional bail until August 29, when they will appear at Manchester Crown Court.

Greg Mckenna, NCA branch commander, said: “Joint working with West Yorkshire Police has prevented a huge amount of cocaine reaching the streets and causing terrible damage to our communities.

“Now we need the help of the public to identify and locate the man at Liverpool Docks.

"There will be people who may know who he is and I am asking those people to come forward and provide us with as much information as possible.”

Anyone with information can contact the NCA on 0370 4967622 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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