Millions of pounds worth of criminal assets was seized since April last year, according to police.

One of the most significant seizures came across Radcliffe and Bury this January when officers from Greater Manchester Police’s money laundering team arrested three men as part of Operation Falcon, seizing around £15,000.

This comes amid other similar operations elsewhere across the city region, with a total of £15,751,210 seized.

The Bolton News: The assets were seized as part of Operation FalconThe assets were seized as part of Operation Falcon (Image: GMP)

Detective Superintendent Joe Harrop, leading GMP’s Economic Crime Unit, said: "This figure represents our most successful year to date in terms of asset recovery and is a credit to all those who have worked really hard to successfully seize, confiscate, recover and forfeit these criminal finances.

"Their work has helped to reduce the amount of violent crime on Greater Manchester’s streets as often these finances are funding serious and organised crime.

The Bolton News: All kinds of criminal wealth has been seizedAll kinds of criminal wealth has been seized (Image: GMP)

"We will continue to work diligently to remove criminal proceeds from the hands of those who seek to profit from criminality. Asset recovery legislation allows us to disrupt criminal enterprises, deter people from becoming involved in crime and recompense victims and communities blighted by criminality.

"A lot of our work is conducted in the background but please be assured that tackling economic crime is a lengthy task and  we are working hard behind the scenes relentlessly to ensure that those involved in criminal behaviour are brought to justice and pay the price for their crimes.

“If you see, or suspect something is wrong, tell us, and we can sort it."

Just short of £3 million has been obtained as a result of Confiscation Orders obtained after a criminal conviction; whilst approximately £14 million has been forfeited under Civil Recovery legislation, which does not rely on a criminal conviction being obtained.

The Bolton News: DS Sarah LangleyDS Sarah Langley (Image: GMP)

Cash and listed assets worth approximately £4 million have been forfeited in the last year along with bank balances totalling £8.7 million.

GMP Economic and Cyber Crime Unit have increased the size of the asset recovery teams and brought in a dedicated money laundering unit, who work together with partner agencies to recover ill-gotten gains from organised crime groups and prosecute those involved.

Operation Falcon launched in June 2022, aims to identify those involved in money laundering in a bid to disrupt wider organised crime in Greater Manchester.

In addition to the £15 million recovered under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, police say that a further £2,657,211 has been recovered from bank accounts and returned directly to victims of crime.

Anyone with concerns or information about suspicious financial activity can call police 101.

Alternatively, details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.