Thousand police raid drug gangs in north London
Last updated at 17:35 27 March 2008
in class A drugs and stolen goods in
a series of “unprecedented” swoops.
In one of the Met's biggest operations,
more than 1,100 officers
stormed 40 addresses and 19 firms in
Investigations focused on a network involved in heroin, cocaine, stolen goods and fraud.
Over 1000 police officers head towards Blackstock road in north London to carry out Operation Mista
In one raid, police stormed Blackstock Road, hitting 19 businesses from butchers to internet cafés and fast food outlets.
A stretch of the north London road was barricaded as more than 40 vans ferried in officers in riot gear.
Police hope to pick up at least 70 suspects.
Hours earlier, 40 warrants were executed in dawn swoops in north and
north-west London. Other addresses in Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire
and Leeds were also targeted.
Approximately 1100 officers were targeting 40 addresses in London involving a money laundering, stolen goods, drugs and fake document racket
Officers from the Met, the British Transport Police and Immigration Services were involved in the operation.
They recovered forged documents, including passports and licences.
They also found stolen goods including laptops, cameras, iPods and sat-nav systems.
Blackstock Road has long been on their radar say police sources.
In the morning raids, 35 people were arrested. Commander of Islington
Police Bob Carr said: “The area that we have focused on has always been in
Police force their way into a property at Six Aces in Finsbury Park
He said that more operations will be ongoing, adding that because of the “relatively” sophisticated nature of the network “we had to do it at one time and all in one hit”.
He added: “It's something that needed to be done for a long time.”
He explained the numbers of officers were needed to storm Blackstock Road because of the scores of businesses they were targeting and the possible threat of violence.
He said that police will be out in force working with and reassuring the community.
He added: “This sends out the very strong message criminals can't operate with impunity.”
Police remove a man from an address in Upper Tollington, Finsbury Park during the dawn raid
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