A Border Force officer is among 12 people who have been arrested on suspicion of being part of a gang accused of smuggling weapons and drugs between across the Channel. The officer, a 36-year-old man from the Dover area, was arrested by French police at a location near Calais along with three other British nationals who were at the scene.

All four men remain in police custody for questioning.

During their arrest, a cache of weapons consisting of nine handguns and two revolvers were recovered, along with magazines and suppressors. Officers also recovered 34 kilos (74 lbs) of cocaine, and seven kilos of heroin.

Shortly afterwards, eight men were arrested by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Command in a number of areas of Kent.

Six of the eight were subsequently charged with conspiracy to import firearms and class A drugs, and remanded in custody ahead of appearances at Barkingside Magistrates Court on 9 October. The remaining two men were released under investigation.

The suspects were arrested as part of a cross-Chanel investigation conducted between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police Service working in partnership with the Central Office for the Repression of Organised Crime of the French National Police (OCLCO), and the UK Home Office.

Dave Hucker, head of the NCA's Anti-Corruption Unit, said: "This operation has brought together law enforcement from both sides of the Channel, and we believe we have prevented the importation of a significant quantity of class A drugs and firearms to the UK. Our investigation is ongoing, both in the UK and in France."

Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, head of the Metropolitan Police's Organised Crime Command, said: "We are pleased to work with the NCA and French police during this ongoing investigation. Operations like this show the importance of working together when suspected organised criminal networks operate across borders."