TWELVE people were arrested following early morning raids in Wigan and Skelmersdale as part of a crackdown on organised crime.
As part of Project Gulf 18 houses were targeted by Salford’s multi-agency task force on Tuesday in relation to alleged drugs and money laundering offences.
Other properties in Salford, Bolton and Bury were also raided.
Project Gulf was set up in 2010 to tackle serious organised crime. The multi-agency team investigates every area of a suspected criminal’s life - including their business interests, benefits, housing and associates.
The Gulf team includes representatives from Greater Manchester Police, Salford City Council, Salford Children’s Services. the Serious Organised Crime Agency, UK Border Agency, Environment Agency, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, DVLA, Department of Work and Pensions, Security Industry Association, Housing and HM Revenue & Customs.
Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, Salford divisional commander, said “This co-ordinated strike is the end product of weeks of intelligence gathering by police officers in an effort to smash organised crime across the local and Greater Manchester area.
“Organised criminality causes misery for ordinary people going about their lawful business. It causes fear and intimidation, and we are determined to work together to target those who indulge in such criminality.
“Today’s action should serve as a reminder that we will continue to use all available resources to target them and put an end to their empires. Our local communities have quite rightly had enough, and it is important that they feel able to give us information in confidence that we can use to continue our fight against this scourge.
“Serious organised crime causes devastating harm to local communities and the Project Gulf team is determined to take these criminals off the streets, disrupting their lifestyles and making the streets a safer place.
“I would urge anyone who believes they have information about those involved in organised crime to contact police.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.