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A woman and 19 men arrested in east London dawn raids targeting suspected drug dealers

PUBLISHED: 11:32 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16 03 October 2018

Seized firearm. Picture: Met Police

Seized firearm. Picture: Met Police

Met Police

Police have arrested 20 people and seized weapons including a handgun, sword and a hunting knife during dawn raids across east London today.

Met Police said a “significant quantity” of suspected Class A and B drugs and a “quantity” of cash were found in the operation which targeted suspected drug dealers.

A total of 20 addresses were stormed including properties in Barking, Dagenham, Ilford and the Isle of Dogs.

The 19 men and one woman were held on a range of offences including possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs. One of the men was also arrested for possession of a firearm.

Officers said the raids, part of Project Zariba, targeted gangs and violent offenders in Waltham Forest and Newham.

This morning’s action involved teams from the Scotland Yard’s Territorial Support Group, local borough officers, the National Police Air Service and the Dog Support Unit.

“This operation forms part of a long-running project which targets some of the most high-harm offenders in this part of the capital,” said Acting Det Chief Insp Jim Mckee, who leads Project Zariba.

“My officers use a range of tactics to identify and apprehend those intent on supplying drugs, carrying weapons, and committing acts of violence.

“This action supports a whole series of pro-active operations and is the culmination of months of hard work. I am incredibly proud of all the officers involved for their commitment and determination in taking really dangerous individuals off of the streets.

“This is the result of fantastic collaborative work between units and officers across the Met who work day and night to protect the public and bring those who are intent on harming others to justice.”

Det Superint Zena Marshall of Waltham Forest said: “The levels of violence we have seen in recent weeks are completely unacceptable. This operation should reassure our communities that we do listen and we are doing all within our power to bring to justice those intent on committing acts of violence.

“We will continue to work closely with colleagues across the Met to tackle the supply of drugs and the associated criminality we have experienced recently.”

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