Two men appear in court after firearms recovered in Loanhead by the Organised Crime Partnership

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Two men appeared in court yesterday (Tuesday, May 21) after a number of weapons were seized in Midlothian by the Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).

On Friday, May 17, warrants were executed at properties in the High Street and Arbuthnot Road areas of Loanhead by the OCP, who were assisted by local officers.

The OCP is a joint investigative team between Police Scotland and the National Crime Agency (NCA), who operate under the direction of the Lord Advocate and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service.

Five handguns, five unregistered air rifles and over forty bladed items, including martial arts weaponry and a machete, were among the items seized.

Two men, both aged 45, were arrested and charged in connection with this and held in custody to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Naysmith of the OCP said: “Through effective intelligence-sharing between a number of agencies, a variety of dangerous and potentially lethal weaponry has been removed from within the community.

“The OCP continues to see significant successes and has seized over a dozen prohibited weapons, including firearms or weapons which could be converted to firearms, since our establishment in September 2018.

“These robust efforts to tackle serious and organised crime will continue and I want to reassure the public that we remain committed to ensuring that those involved in such criminality face justice.”

NCA Scotland branch commander, Ian Thomas, said: “The nature and scale of organised crime is becoming ever more complex, with criminal networks reaching across regional, national and international borders.

“Disrupting the supply of criminal firearms is a priority for the NCA and our partners, and this operation is an example of that in action.

“Working as part of the Organised Crime Partnership, NCA officers are on the frontline protecting the people of Scotland from the types of weapons seized here and the violence they can inflict.”

Anyone with information or concerns about organised crime should contact Police Scotland via 101, or report information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.