12 arrested in Jamaica-linked money laundering investigation
ILLEGAL drugs have been seized in a massive police investigation into benefit fraud and money laundering with links to Jamaica.
A three-day operation by Gloucestershire police saw nine women and three men arrested in 10 homes in Gloucester and the Forest of Dean.
Officers raided the properties on Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday and there are more arrests expected.
A total of about £700,000 leaving the UK has been identified by police investigating a suspected crime syndicate, which may have connections to the Caribbean and illegal drugs.
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Officers seized financial documents, suspected A and B Class drugs – crack cocaine and cannabis – telephones and IT equipment.
Operation Apollo officers worked with Gloucester City Council and the majority of those arrested were done so on suspicion of money laundering including benefiting financially from criminal activity and benefit fraud.
"We consider the operation so far a great success and, whilst our operation is continuing, we hope it reassures the public that we can and do tackle crime at all levels," said Detective Constable Jon Hume.
"We want people involved in criminal offences of all kinds in Gloucestershire to understand that it is only a matter of time before they are caught."
Eleven arrests were made in Gloucester. They are two men aged 44 and 45 as well as women aged 38, 41, 28, 25, and 35, all on suspicion of money laundering.
A 27-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and supplying a Class A drug.
Two 33-year-old women were held on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drugs supply and money laundering.
A 41-year-old woman from Lydbrook was also arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
All 12 have been questioned and released on police bail.
Each has different bail dates to return to police from September to December.
The warrants were carried out at addresses in Gloucester in Byron Avenue in Podsmead; Ruardean Drive in Tuffley; Fairford Way in Saintbridge; Mutsilver Mews, Longlevens; Alfred Street and Savernake Road, Barton; Deans Walk, Deans Way and Swan Road, Kingsholm; and Rocks Road, Joys Green, Lydbrook, Forest of Dean.