Eight arrests after operation targeting 'enablers' of organised crime
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Eight people have been arrested following a major Bedfordshire Police operation focused on disrupting crucial cogs in the organised crime system.
Nine warrants were carried out in the early hours of yesterday morning (Tuesday) across Bedford and the surrounding area as part of an investigation targeting suspected ‘enablers’ of organised crime groups involved in large scale cannabis cultivation.
Eight men – six in their 50s, 40s and 30s from Bedford, and two in their 20s from Northamptonshire – were arrested.
The arrests were made on suspicion of offences including drugs supply, fraud, cultivation of cannabis, money laundering as well as encouraging or assisting offences.
Officers from Bedfordshire Police’s specialist Operation Costello team are also expected to apply for a closure order on a business premises in Bedford as part of their investigation.
Detective Superintendent Nick Skipworth, leading Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Costello crackdown on organised crime, said: “What we’ve done is a little bit different.
“We’ve not just gone after the criminals. We’ve gone after the people who we suspect are enabling criminal organisations to profit.
“Enablers are people who assist and support organised crime groups by letting them premises or supplying them with materials to proceed with their criminal ventures.
“It is therefore vital that we look to apprehend those involved and ensure they can’t operate in our communities.
“We will continue to go after enablers to make Bedfordshire incredibly hostile to organised crime.”
For more information about Operation Costello, organised crime in Bedfordshire and how to report it.
You can also visit the Bedfordshire Against Violence and Exploitation website at bavex.co.uk