12 held in drug trafficking raids

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The Independent Online

Twelve men suspected of involvement in a major drug trafficking network were arrested today in a series of dawn raids.

More than 100 police officers were involved in the "pre-planned synchronised" raids on 19 addresses across London and Kent, Scotland Yard said.

The arrests are the culmination of a two-year intelligence-led investigation into three suspected criminal networks; one Colombian and two London-based.

Scotland Yard said today: "The Metropolitan Police have this morning arrested 12 men believed to be involved in a major drugs trafficking network.

"In a series of pre-planned synchronised dawn raids spanning the whole of London and into Kent, 100 police officers from the Metropolitan Police, assisted by officers from Kent Police, raided 19 addresses.

"Today's arrests are the culmination of a two-year intelligence-led operation by the Met's Projects Team into three criminal networks - one Colombian, and two London-based networks."

The drugs allegedly involved are thought to include cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and cannabis.

Detectives are expected to give further details about today's operation at a briefing later this morning.

The investigation is understood to be a spin-off from Operation Anuric - an investigation into a massive international drug smuggling empire, believed to have been one of the biggest ever to have operated in this country.

Over the course of a decade that cartel was suspected of smuggling hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cocaine into the UK.