Approximately £150,000 cash, 20kg of Class A and B drugs and a suspected firearm have been seized as part of a massive police operation.
This morning, officers from across the UK carried out simultaneous raids on properties as far afield as Cults in Aberdeen, Bristol, London and Plymouth.
Heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, along with a suspected handgun, were discovered.
The operation has been months in the making, and this morning 29 warrants were executed.
A total of 16 people, aged between 25 and 43, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs. One of those detained was also arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.
Raids have cut out the ‘middle’ of drugs chain
Detective Inspector Tom Pearse, from the Met’s specialist crime command, praised the multi-police force effort to crackdown on the drugs trade.
“The supply and distribution of drugs doesn’t contain itself within the M25,” he said. “It’s a fluid and toxic commodity that leaks out into the home counties and beyond, often leaving a trail of violence in its wake. By collaborating with other police forces, we have removed those in the middle levels, as well as those at the top of the chain who were making in excess of a million pounds a year.”
The operation began in April last year after police received a tip that a number of individuals in Hackney, east London, were involved in the supply of Class A drugs. Officers were able to track their supply routes across the UK, leading to today’s raids.
Work is not done: Officers move on to ‘next network’
Of the 29 warrants, 20 were executed in the London area.
The property raided in the north-east was in Hillview Road in Cults.
DI Pearse added: “The proactive team responsible for delivering this operation have investigated the criminal network with tenacity and vigour, working long and antisocial hours week after week. After today they will move onto the next network and start the process over. It remains the case that there is no loyalty within the drug supply network and those involved in this exploitative trade.”