UPDATED: 14 arrests as police raid homes across Bolton in organised crime crackdown
CRIME bosses “who drive around in big cars bought with large amounts of cash” have been targeted by police as part of a crackdown on drugs and money laundering.
Police said they were going after “upper tier criminals who think they are invincible”.
Dawn raids were carried out in Bolton, Bury, Wigan, Salford and Skelmersdale, Lancashire at 6.15am yesterday.
Ch Supt Mary Doyle said: “The message for residents is absolutely one of reassurance. These crimes have a massive impact on the community.
“These people profit from the misery of others. These are the people who are the upper tier. They are unemployed and buy big cars with large amounts of cash.
“It must be frustrating for ordinary working class people who work hard to bring their families up. People involved in these crimes should know that we will keep coming and will come after them.”
Nine men and three women were arrested. Further homes were searched following the initial arrests.
The operation was part of Project Gulf, which was set up to combat serious organised crime.
It was launched three years ago and involves investigating every aspect of a criminal’s life including their business interests, benefits, housing and associates.
The team is made up of police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, UK Border Agency, Environment Agency, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, DVLA, Department of Work and Pensions, Security Industry Association, Housing and HM Revenue and Customs.
Ch Supt Doyle added: “It is important for us to target criminal gangs. They are a scourge on our communities.
"They target the vulnerable and we have seen the violence that can result from it. We have seen how these people supply drugs.
"They deal in misery and we have seen how it spills out on to the streets. It’s just not acceptable.”
She said people at the high end of such crimes often think they are “invincible” and cannot be caught. She warned that more raids would follow.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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