London based drug traffickers are attempting to go undetected by using pensioners to transport and distribute Class A drugs in Eastbourne.
Gangs have targeted seaside and country towns as the London drug market becomes increasingly saturated. Historically the gang leaders have preyed on vulnerable young people to do the ‘drug running’ to and from the capital, however Eastbourne has bucked the trend as anyone under the age of 45 tends to generate unwanted attention.
Following the arrests of a 14 and 15 year old in Old Town on suspicion of supplying drugs from London, the gangs moved quickly to change their tact. Instead of hanging around outside youth clubs and job centres, recruiters for the gangs have been seen loitering around bridge and bowls clubs looking to recruit new traffickers who are interested in topping up their pensions.
The Brighton Bulletin can exclusively reveal that up to 12 pensioners between the ages of 75 and 97 have already been recruited and are making monthly trips between The Sunshine Coast and London’s drug dens. Estimates put the value of drugs already transported by OAP’s in the millions of pounds. Generally the drugs are crack cocaine and heroin which, once in Eastbourne, are being sold out of the pensioner’s homes with some unconfirmed reports of 20 strong queues outside the towns nursing homes on some mornings.
The Brighton Bulletin spoke with one of the ‘runners’ about her new life. Margaret, 84, who did not want to disclose her surname revealed how much her life has been turned upside down, ‘It’s been fantastic!’ she beamed. ‘Ever since this lovely young man approached me outside my bridge club one afternoon my life has never been the same. His name was Blazer, which I thought was a lovely but most unusual name. He came up to me and asked if I fancied earning some extra money, well I had been living on the state pension so I was delighted to help. It has been great, I get to go up to London every month, see the sights and meet Blazers lovely friends, they give me some money and I take their medicines and sell them to all the sick people in Eastbourne. It is such a brilliant initiative, I have already signed up three of my friends and between us we are becoming quite the entrepreneurs. We certainly enjoy spending it though, every Saturday we hire out the VIP booths in Atlantis and party like it’s 1969!’ she said.
Sussex police have advised people who have noticed their elderly relatives acting suspiciously to contact them immediately.