SUPERINTENDENT Nigel Russell led the Gwent Police side of the investigation.

Supt Russell said: "Chambers is an incredibly dangerous individual who posed a considerable threat because of his desire to import this level of drugs into the area, and maintained a veneer of respectability.

"Chambers owned the Hair Raisers salon in Pill and had an interest in a property development company, City Prop-erties."

These, Supt Russell said, were being used as "a front" for his illegitimate dealings.

Supt Russell said: "He also had the contacts to purchase the drugs in Guyana."

He said: "Barrows was involved in getting the drugs purchased in the Caribbean, and without his involvement the shipment would never have come into Newport."

Police were brought into assist the Customs-led operation because of the potential risk of firearms being used by the "dangerous" gang.

The warehouse in Spytty was subject to 24- hour surveillance for a number of weeks before the armed raid finally took place on June 7, 2003.