Police raids lead to arrest of 29 ‘vicious’ gang members

 

Crime Correspondent

Senior members of one of the country’s most notorious gangs have been arrested after expanding their drug-dealing operations outside of their south London stronghold to target lucrative new markets, police said yesterday.

29 members of the Brixton-based GAS (Guns and Shanks) were arrested during a series of raids in London, the Home Counties and Edinburgh which netted cocaine, heroin and £5,000 in cash.

The gang has been linked to a series of gun attacks including the shooting of Thusha Kamaleswaran, who was aged five in 2011, when she was caught in the crossfire of a gang feud and badly injured. Three men were jailed for life for shooting the girl who was hit as they pursued a rival from the ABM (All Bout Money) gang into her uncle’s shop where she was playing.

The police raids were the latest phase of an operation targeting the gang which has seen 88 alleged members arrested. It is part of a wider two-year campaign by Scotland Yard to tackle some 3,500 members of an estimated 250 gangs active in the capital.

The force said that some 1,300 gang members were now either in prison or subject to orders that banned them from certain areas, or meeting with former criminal associates, to try to stem the violence.

Officers say the operation has had led to a sharp cut in gun and knife crime and may be responsible for shifting some of their operations outside of the capital. The arrests yesterday followed an operation last year against another gang, the Woolwich Boys based in south-east London, that saw young members carry drugs out of the capital on trains to sell from a house in the Medway Towns, Kent.

“I think gangs are feeling the heat in London but they’re seeing opportunities for working outside,” said Commander Steve Rodhouse, who is in charge of the Trident gang crime unit.

The raids yesterday by 700 officers targeted family members and contacts of GAS gang members in places including Edinburgh, Essex, Bedfordshire, Reading and Bracknell.

They were held on allegations including intent to supply class-A drugs and money laundering. The gang has been linked to drug dealing, gun crime, stabbings and attacks on rival neighbourhood gangs.

“They’re vicious, untrustworthy and volatile,” said a former gang member. “It’s curtains for anyone who gets in their way.”
 

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible