Police make five arrests over drugs line between London and Norwich
- Credit: Archant
Five people have been arrested in connection with a county lines drugs operation being run from London to Norwich.
The arrests were made on Wednesday (April 1) morning after Metropolitan Police officers executed nine warrants at addresses in Hackney, Ilford, Tottenham, Enfield and Islington.
A large amount of cash was seized as part of the raids.
All five people who were arrested were taken to custody suites across London.
They were arrested for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
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The investigation, code-named Operation Clovet, began in early 2019 after officers received intelligence that established that gang members in Hackney were running a county line to Norwich and using vulnerable adults and children to do so.
Based on the information Met officers had, as well as intelligence from officers from Norfolk Police, Operation Clovet was established to dismantle the drug line.
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Detective inspector Dave Williams, from the Met’s specialist crime north unit, said: “Violence and county drug lines are inextricably linked and this causes untold misery for families affected and the wider community.”
He said gangs often used “vulnerable young children to do their bidding while they profit from the illicit funds”, using “extreme levels of violence” to protect the market.
DI Williams added: “Officers from all around the country are working together to make sure that county lines routes are disrupted and destroyed, and that those who profit from them are arrested and prosecuted.
“County lines and drug dealing is the root of the problem when it comes to violent crime in the UK. The destruction of the drug lines will hugely improve public safety.”
Norfolk Police declared a “critical incident” at the end of 2016 following a spike in drug-related violence which included the murder of Steve Stannard who was ambushed in his Norwich flat and stabbed multiple times by London drug-dealer Hassiem Baqir.
In response the force launched Operation Gravity - a high profile drugs crackdown, which has had an emphasis on targeting the London-based criminal contingent.