A total of 47 men and six women, between the ages of 16 and 48-years-old have been arrested on suspicion of a range of offences, including: possession of firearms and ammunition; possession of offensive weapons; possession of criminal property; possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs, and supply of class A and B drugs.
The arrests follow a long-running operation, named Operation Trigona, which saw officers conduct a number of early-morning raids at addresses predominately across Greenwich and Bexley, as well as some addresses in Kent and the Thames Valley, over the last six weeks.
The warrants were the culmination of a meticulous undercover investigation spanning five months, where officers identified individuals involved in the organisation and running of 33 county lines, supplying class A drugs in south-east London.
Led by officers from the South East Proactive Unit, a range of other officers were also involved in the operation, including officers from the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG) and Dog Support Unit.
In addition to the arrests:
– £63,000 in cash was seized;
– Approximately 320 grams of crack cocaine, 150 grams of heroin and a quantity of cannabis was recovered;
– A variety of weapons, including four firearms, as well as number of knives and knuckle dusters recovered;
– Two rounds of ammunition seized;
– Two motor vehicles with a combined value of £45,000, and £40,000 worth of Rolex watches, all believed to be the proceeds of crime, seized.
Detective Inspector Jo Gresham, who led the operation, said: “Operations like this one, which disrupt county lines drug supply and dealing, and target the criminal exploitation of vulnerable people, are vital because we know that this type of criminality drives a high proportion of violent crime in London.
“We carried out a huge amount of investigative work behind the scenes before conducting these warrants, showing that not only do we take a zero-tolerance approach to drug supply, but we’re absolutely committed to making the streets in which the local community lives safer.
“This operation was also aimed at identifying and cracking down on the exploitation of children, who can be manipulated into carrying out criminal acts. During this operation we have identified two young people who were victims of this type of exploitation, who we are now safeguarding and working with to give them the support they need.