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Organised crime swoop: eight arrests

PUBLISHED: 17:17 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 23 August 2010

EIGHT people have been arrested across north Kent for their alleged connections with a UK-based internationally organised crime gang. Ninety Kent Police officers made the arrests in relation to the supply of controlled drugs, money laundering and mortgag

EIGHT people have been arrested across north Kent for their alleged connections with a UK-based internationally organised crime gang.

Ninety Kent Police officers made the arrests in relation to the supply of controlled drugs, money laundering and mortgage fraud at undisclosed locations at 6.30am on Tuesday.

The arrests follow a two-and-a-half year investigation into members of international organised crime gangs based in north Kent and Billingham in Teesside.

Police claim the gang smuggled drugs into the UK from Europe. Nine people from Teeside were also arrested at the same time.

Detective Inspector Thomas Richards, from Kent Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: "This is a very complex operation involving multiple law enforcement agencies and what we believe is a web of sophisticated criminal activity across the UK, Spain, France and other European countries."

Police say the arrests are linked to lower level members targeted last year when 14 people were arrested and three tonnes of cannabis worth about £3million, 10 kilos of cocaine worth more than £650,000 and 10 firearms were seized.

Chief Superintendent Paul Brandon, area commander for the North Kent policing area said: "By sharing information and lending support and our local expertise, the input of North Kent will have added to the success of what is a very complex national and international operation to tackle career criminals and bring them to justice."

Suspects continue to be questioned by police as the Reporter went to press.

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