Five arrested for drugs offences after dawn raids

Cannabis in a bag

Cannabis seized from one of the raided properties - Credit: Met Police

Five men have been arrested for drugs offences after a series of dawn raids. 

Police also seized cash and drugs during searches of the properties in Barking, Islington, Bexleyheath, Dartford and Chelmsford in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, January 12).

The Met says the warrants and arrests followed an investigation into the wholesale of drugs through a highly encrypted communication platform.

More than £2,000 in cash, a large amount of cannabis and 14 wraps of suspected Class A drugs were found at the properties.

They have now been sent for analysis as part of an operation into the criminal use of encrypted communications.

Wraps of suspected class A drugs found during searches of the properties

Wraps of suspected class A drugs found during searches of the properties - Credit: Met Police

Arrests included a 30-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to supply and import cocaine and cannabis, and a 38-year-old on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and transfer criminal property.

Three others were also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply drugs: a 44-year-old (cocaine and heroin); a 26-year-old (cocaine) and a 35-year-old (cocaine and cannabis).

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All five men remain in custody while investigations continue.

Det Ch Insp Driss Hayoukane  - from the Met’s specialist crime team - said: “The Met continues to work to bring those criminals using encrypted devices to commit serious and violent crimes – whilst believing they are untouchable – to justice.

“Operation Eternal has allowed us to reach those most dangerous, high harm offenders - individuals right at the heart of organised networks dealing in multiple kilos of drugs, cutting off supply and associated violence right at the source.”

Cash seized by police

Police seized more than £2,000 in cash - Credit: Met Police

Operation Eternal is a long-term investigation into the use of encrypted communications to facilitate serious violence, supply of firearms, drugs and associated criminality.

Det Ch Insp Hayoukane added: “We know that drug supply and violence on our streets are inextricably linked. 

“Those involved cause misery to our communities, and we remain dedicated to bringing them before the courts.

“Activity to tackle organised criminality in London has long been a priority for the Metropolitan Police, and it will continue to be for the coming years.”