19 arrested in East End dawn drug raids

Police have arrested 19 men after dawn raids in east London where drugs are alleged to have been seized along with £120,000 cash. 

The 19, all in their 20s and 30s, are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply and money laundering.

All are in custody at an east London police station.  

The raids were carried out by officers from the Met’s Central East command covering Tower Hamlets as part of their ongoing Operation Continuum tackling drug dealing on the streets. 

“This is a strong message to those involved in drug crime and our commitment to tackling it,” Det Ch Insp Sean Lyons warned. 

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“We know that men and women are being exploited through drug supply. Officers will continue to patrol the area, making sure people can go to them for help if they’re affected by the disruption following this action.” 

Class A drugs police say they seized in dawn raids

Class A drugs police say they seized in dawn raids

– Credit: Met Police

Officers said they seized around 2kg of Class A drugs, as well as the £120,000 cash and more than £100,000 of assets allegedly linked to money laundering, including a £50,000 top-of-the-range vehicle, Scotland Yard said.

Operation Continuum has been running for three years in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council, and it aims to disrupt the supply chain that has plagued the streets around Whitechapel and Bethnal Green. 

The authority is also funding a programme helping drug users kick the habit and disrupt the supply market.   

Mayor John Biggs... backing police raids to clear drug dealing on the streets

Mayor John Biggs… backing police raids to clear drug dealing on the streets

– Credit: Mike Brooke

Mayor John Biggs said: “Our funding is supporting the work to tackle the root causes of substance misuse. We had teams on the ground in addition to the raids helping people with addiction to use recovery support services.

“Taking a holistic approach to substance misuse means we can offer help and support to people who need it, while at the same time reduce crime linked to the drug market.”  

Council CCTV network monitoring the streets 

Council CCTV network monitoring the streets

– Credit: LBTH

The council’s CCTV network control centre is being used to monitor suspect drug deals on the streets, co-ordinated with Met Police patrols that can react swiftly.  

The Met’s Borough Commander Marcus Barnet threw down the gauntlet when he took over in 2019, promising that police would keep the pressure on organised drug dealing. The October 13 raids are part of that commitment. 


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