A COMPUTER firm worker has been arrested after police found a handgun hidden in a locker.

The 28-year-old man was arrested by police at his place of work, Scan Computers in Horwich, at 6.30pm last night.

Police had earlier raided his home in St Helens Road, Daubhill, searching for the gun, and instead seized £4,000 in cash and a BB gun.

The suspect was not there, prompting police to swoop on the Middlebrook IT firm.

There they arrested him and searched a private locker, where they found a handgun and a bag of bullets.

Police said they want to stress that the gun discovery and arrest has nothing to do with Scan Computers, with the investigation centred solely on the man detained.

The search warrant was obtained after evidence was gathered by the police's serious organised crime unit.

It is not yet known why the man had hidden the weapon at work, although police are investigating to see whether he may have been looking after it for someone else.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and possession of a firearm and is currently in police custody.

Det Insp Christopher Mossop, of Bolton north neighbourhood policing team, said: "It is excellent that we have recovered this weapon and the bullets.

"Bullets are hard things to find and they are also hard for people to make.

"One bullet can kill someone. It is nice that we have taken several off the street.

"They now can't be used for anything or by anybody."

A police spokesman said: "A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and possession of a firearm.

"He remains in police custody for questioning.

"Police do not believe there is a wider risk to the general public."

Cllr Kevin McKeon, a Horwich councillor, said: "I am pleased that the police have done and I am sure this will have no affect on Horwich and no impact on the wider community."

Mick Stevens, a Horwich resident who regularly shops at Scan Computers, said: "They all seem like nice lads from behind the counter and are a very good company.

"I have never had a problem with them and the family who run it are brilliant."

Elan Raja, director of Scan Computers, said: "Scan Computers is assisting the Greater Manchester Police with their enquiries which relate only to the person detained by them.”