Operation Strongbox

The Isle of Man Constabulary’s Operation Strongbox, intended to tackle any criminal activity that might arise with the borders reopening, has led to 125 searches and 10 arrests at the island’s ports.

Now in its sixth week, the Manx Police are working with their colleagues in Lancashire and Merseyside to disrupt and deter criminals seeking to import drugs to the Isle of Man.

A statement from the Police said: ‘We’ve engaged with approx 1,500 vehicles and 1,000 foot passengers at the Sea Terminal, with at the time of writing around 125 searches taking place.

‘We’re welcoming people to the island and focusing on intelligence led searching but we will also carry out routine stops with our partners at Isle of Man Customs and Excise. We’re working continuously with our partners at Lancashire Constabulary operating at Heysham Port and Merseyside Police at the Liverpool dock to deter criminals from heading towards our shores. We’ve stepped up our work at the airport as we see passengers increase there and continue to take drugs out of the Postal and freight systems.’

The Police list their achievements during the operation as:

  • Over 10 arrests for various offences
  • Arrests around possessing Class A drugs with the intention of onward supply to the island
  • Seized illegally held firearms, believed to be destined for criminal purposes
  • Arrested people attempting to leave the island carrying significant quantities of cash, believed to be the proceeds of crime
  • Detected counterfeit goods heading to the island through working with the Customs team

The police added: ‘Some of our work has inevitably meant we have ended up dealing with people for breaching COVID regulations – you’ll see we operate with masks and gloves around our ports as a precaution.’

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