In a major law enforcement operation, armed officers have reportedly dismantled a drug network potentially involving members of the renowned UK Special Forces unit, the Special Air Service (SAS).
In a coordinated drugs bust in rural Herefordshire, two serving members of the SAS and a soldier’s spouse were reportedly detained. The joint operation by military and civil law enforcement agencies involved encircling and inspecting a farm. During the search, authorities discovered and seized materials suspected to be illicit drugs for further examination.
The three detainees were questioned and later released on bail, under suspicion of being involved in Class A drug offenses. However, both the Ministry of Defence and the West Mercia Police have withheld specific details of the incident.
The decision on which agency, military or civil, will spearhead the ongoing investigation remains undecided.
Inside sources reveal that this operation has shocked personnel stationed at the SAS’s base, Stirling Lines, located in Credenhill, Herefordshire.
The legal authority of the Royal Military Police to interrogate SAS members has been noted, particularly in this complex case involving a soldier’s wife.
West Mercia Police’s armed unit and MoD police conducted the operation, amid concerns that the location might contain not only suspicious substances but also weapons. SAS members living in remote areas sometimes keep a weapon at home, with official permission, for security purposes.
This operation, which occurred on November 30, was reportedly initiated after a tip-off and involved extensive surveillance of the farm and the movements of the implicated SAS members. There are unverified claims that drones were used for surveillance to avoid drawing attention with unfamiliar vehicles near the farm. Residents in the vicinity were advised to remain indoors during the operation.
One of the arrested soldiers is reported to be highly experienced, having served in the SAS for over ten years.
The allegation of the involvement of Special Forces personnel in drug dealing comes at a particularly sensitive time for the SAS, which is currently the subject of a statutory inquiry into allegations of extrajudicial killings in Afghanistan.
Claims, backed up by evidence from AOAV’s own research, have been made in the Royal Courts of Justice that SAS troops may have executed up to 80 unarmed Taliban suspects in custody between 2010 and 2013.
Additionally, there have been accusations against Special Forces leadership for allegedly concealing evidence to obscure a purported shoot-to-kill directive.
An anonymous SAS source told the Daily Mail that any involvement in drug trafficking and connections with criminal elements could severely further impact the regiment’s reputation. The source criticised the apparent leniency towards off-duty activities of SAS members, calling for stricter oversight to uphold the unit’s integrity.
“What would that say about their discipline?”, they told the paper. “What would that say about the control the commanding officer of the regiment has over his men and who is allowed to serve in the SAS. For years they’ve turned a blind eye to all the lucrative moonlighting SAS troops get up to on their downtime. Finally, it would appear this complacency has slapped them in the face. They need to tighten up – the reputation of the SAS is being tarnished at the moment.”
Dr. Iain Overton of Action on Armed Violence said of the arrests: “The recent drug bust involving members of the Special Air Service is deeply troubling, particularly in light of the ongoing Afghanistan inquiry. This incident raises serious questions about the level of oversight within The Regiment. It’s imperative to examine how a lack of control could potentially allow such activities to occur. Were the drugs, for instance, brought in from overseas operations? Such allegations not only challenge the integrity of the UK’s elite forces but also casts a further shadow over their already questioned operational conduct. All of this underscores the need for stringent oversight mechanisms to ensure that the values and discipline of these units are upheld at all times.”
West Mercia Police has directed all inquiries regarding the operation to the Ministry of Defence, which acknowledged the investigation but refrained from commenting further.
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