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Police smash international crime gang in Greater Manchester

An international crime gang suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of drugs in Manchester City centre has been smashed after a series of dawn raids were carried out across Greater Manchester.

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Officers from the North Manchester division’s Organised Crime Unit as wellas officers from neighbourhood policing teams and the tactical aid unit,with support from immigration officers, executed 17 warrants this morning,Thursday 5 February 2015.

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21 people; 18 men and 3 women, have been arrested on suspicion of drugs, firearms and immigration offences.

A kilogram of what is believed to be cocaine, with an estimated street value of £100,000 has been seized along with two firearms, ammunition anda silencer, and approximately £30,000 cash.

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The warrants – at addresses in the city centre, south Manchester, Salford,Trafford and one in North Wales, represent the culmination of a proactive eight-month long investigation into a predominantly Albanian crime gang suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of cocaine.

Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry, Divisional Commander for North Manchester,bsaid: “The Organised Crime Group we have targeted today lurks in our city’s shadows, peddling their drugs and preying on a wide spectrum of people living and visiting the region, many of whom are vulnerable.

“The robust action taken this morning was done with the sole intention of disrupting them and although we have made these arrests there is stillan awful lot more work to be done and we would encourage anyone with information about those involved in the sale and supply of drugs to come forward and work with us by telling us what you know.

“Our multi-agency approach hopefully demonstrates to our communities that, we are committed to tackling organised crime across Manchester. In Collaboration with our partner agencies, we aim to disrupt and dismantle such criminal groups, leaving no stone unturned as we seek to put a halt to their activities.

“Cocaine is one of the most commonly used recreational drugs in the UK so it comes as no surprise that we frequently see a direct correlation between cocaine abuse and violence in the city centre.

“During our peak demand times around the night time economy it is clear that cocaine driven violence has a huge impact on the policing resources in the city centre so tackling the root cause of the problem is obviously a top priority for us.”

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