TWO men were arrested following the discovery of hundreds of illegal prescription medication at a shop in Nelson.

Working in support of Lancashire Trading Standards, officers from the Pendle Neighbourhood Task Force searched the business in Manchester Road, Nelson, on Wednesday and found 1,200 diazepam and temazepam tablets, as well as illegal tobacco.

The men, one aged 18 and the other in his 30s, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class C drugs but have now been released under investigation pending further enquiries. A substantial number of snap bags were also found.

A spokesman for the task force said there was a rising problem with unprescribed drugs being sold under the counter and the practice was linked to organised crime and exploitation.

The spokesman said: “Officers from the task force and neighbourhood team took part in a joint operation with trading standards where premises in Nelson were found to be in possession of illegal tobacco and suspected Class C drugs. As a result two men were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class C drugs and our trading standards colleagues will be processing the enquiries regarding the illegal tobacco.

“This was a fantastic result from partnership working to disrupt criminal activities within Nelson. This was a trading standards-led operation and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have found what we did.

“We want to emphasise that although these were Class C drugs, they are still linked to organised crime and the sale of them funds other form of criminality.”

Diazepam – first marketed as valium – is used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and fits, while temazepam is a medication used to treat insomnia.