GMP arrested two men and two women as part of an investigation into the suspected money laundering of an estimated £3million’s worth of property understood to be linked to an alleged class A drug conspiracy.
The operation – spearheaded by detectives from our dedicated Money Laundering Team based within the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) – saw a total of 70 officers from our Tactical Aid Unit, Bury local policing team and SOCG embark on seven search warrants across Bury.
A total of four arrests were made, with two men – aged 28 and 42 – and two women – aged 25 and 35 – taken to custody to be questioned on suspicion of money laundering and fraud. They have since been released on bail pending further investigation.
Joining yesterday morning’s offensive were colleagues from the National Crime Agency and environmental health and trading standards.
Detectives have been investigating suspected money laundering as information began to suggest that an alleged class A drugs empire, believed to be being run from Pakistan, was responsible for the unscrupulous assembly of property and assets worth an estimated £3million.
As part of the raid officers seized designer clothing, jewellery and a high quantity of cash and gold.
Following the arrests, investigators applied to Tameside Magistrates Court for the freezing of around £170,000 in bank accounts linked to the suspects.
Anyone found to be guilty be the courts of money laundering or any other form of illicit enterprise is told to expect to have their property seized and the value of assets reinvested into the community.
Detective Chief Inspector Joseph Harrop, of our Economic Crime Unit, said: “We’ve taken a big step forward in our investigation into what we believe to be a money laundering ring worth around £3million.
“This is money and assets that we think have been obtained through unscrupulous means and we are determined to ensure that anyone found to be responsible for this offence will be brought to justice and have anything of value in their name seized.
“Investigations like this are always complex and wide-ranging, but we have a commitment at GMP to working with our partners and using the powers available to us to seize assets of suspects and to really send a message that anyone engaged in this activity should expect a robust response from us.
“Our asset recovery results from the last 12 months demonstrate our desire to take back significant amounts of money and putting it back to where it belongs – in the community – and demonstrating that crime does not pay.”
Anyone with information about suspicious financial activity can report it to us online, if able, or via 101.
Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.