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5 January 2018, 07:08 | Updated: 5 January 2018, 07:10
Essex Police have seized firearms and explosives after a raid in North Ockenden.
Police searched a derelict building on North Road and surrounding land at around 2pm yesterday (Thursday, January 4) and discovered a number of weapons and munitions. The weapons recovered will be subject to expert forensic and ballistic examinations, but police provisionally believe them to be two AK47s rifles, a hand gun, a sawn-off shotgun, ammunition and a number of high explosive grenades.
Ministry of Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit are assisting us at the site. There is no risk to the public.
Detective Superintendent Mark Hall, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The investigation is at an early stage and I am maintaining an open mind as to the origin of these weapons, however from their condition they may have been in situ for some time.
"This is a significant seizure and clearly in the wrong hands these weapons could have caused very considerable harm. I am very pleased that we have been able to safely recover them.
"Today’s operation underlines the capability of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate to tackle and disrupt serious organised crime in the County. The weapons seized will now be subject to detailed forensic and ballistic examinations. We are continuing to work alongside our partners from the Ministry of Defences’ Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, who may be carrying out a controlled explosion later today.
"I would appeal to anyone with information to contact the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."