Arrests made after South Yorkshire raidsÂ overÂ importation of laughing gas worth Â£6m
Eight arrests have been made in police raids carried out in South and North Yorkshire as part of a probeÂ into the importation of laughing gas worth Â£6 million. Â
Five menÂ and three women were arrested in coordinated raids carried out yesterday by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit.
CRIME: Man found with knife and drugs in Sheffield street The suspects were held on suspicion of importing a psychoactive substance and money laundering.
Details of whether they have been released or charged have not yet been released.
Nitrous oxide, also known as '˜laughing gas', '˜balloons', '˜NOS' and '˜hippy crack', is a gas commonly used in the medical and catering industry but is increasingly being used as a so-called '˜legal high'.
Side effects includeÂ dizziness and headaches, but inhaling theÂ gas can also prove deadly byÂ causingÂ suffocation.
Detective Chief Inspector Ed McBryde-Wilding, of the Special Operations Unit, whose team is interviewingÂ some of the suspects,Â said: 'In 2016, the government changed the law to ensure those involved in the unlawful supply of nitrous oxide could be prosecuted.
'By working closely with other law enforcement partners, we have arrested a number of individuals suspected of being involved in the trafficking of this seemingly innocuous but potentially deadly substance.
'I hope theÂ operation sends a strong message to those involved in this illicit trade that we will seek to prosecute wherever possible.'