THREE people have been arrested in connection with the murders of Paul Massey and John Kinsella.

Officers arrested a 37-year-old man at Manchester Airport this morning on suspicion of killing the pair and a woman, aged 39, was also detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

A 48-year-old man was also arrested in Salford on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Mr Massey.

Officers also executed raids this morning in Heywood, Rochdale, Cheshire and Salford.

All three remain in custody for questioning. The families of the victims have been told of the arrests.

Mr Massey, known as Mr Big, was killed at his home in Manchester Road, Clifton, in July 2015.

Witnesses reported the killer came from the direction of the Clifton Community Centre and headed towards the 55-year-old's house.

The offender fired several shots before walking back to the centre's car park.

Mr Kinsella, aged 53, was shot while walking his dog with his partner on a footpath in Rainhill, Merseyside on May 5 this year.

The offender, who was on a pedal bike, fired the gun at Mr Kinsella's partner as she ran away.

The arrests are the first made in connection with the murders and follow inquiries by detectives from both GMP and Merseyside Police.

Detective chief inspector Carl Jones, of GMP’s major incident team, said: "We currently have two people in custody arrested in connection with the murder of Paul Massey and they will be questioned by GMP detectives.

"These are the first arrests that have been made in connection with Paul’s death and the investigation remains focused on establishing the truth and bringing answers to his family.

"Although the murders of Paul Massey and John Kinsella remain separate investigations by individual police forces, we will continue to liaise with colleagues from Merseyside Police as further enquiries are carried out."

Detective chief inspector Mark Baker, of Merseyside Police’s investigations team, said: “Detectives from Merseyside have been carrying out extensive inquiries since the murder of John Kinsella just three weeks ago and have established a number of positive leads.

"We have been working together with both GMP and Cheshire Police and as a result of our inquiries were able to carry out this joint operation today."