Police have made several arrests across Yorkshire as part of an investigation into an organised crime group smuggling money out of the UK in hidden suitcases to Dubai.
Eight people were arrested on Wednesday morning at addresses in Cleckheaton, Bradford and Dewsbury in West Yorkshire with another arrest in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
Investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) believe the nine men are part of an organised crime group that smuggled millions of pounds out of UK airports last year.
Nine linked suspects were previously arrested by Border Force officers trying to smuggle money out of the UK, and a further six suspects have been arrested and questioned about their suspected roles as money-laundering facilitators and co-ordinators.
In total, with today’s activity there have been 24 arrests linked to the investigation. As part of the wider investigation into the organised crime group, £2.3 million has been seized.
Read more: National Crime Agency carries out arrest warrants in West Yorkshire over money-laundering
NCA operations manager Jon Hughes said: “Border Force have done excellent work preventing the money leaving the UK and we have a series of lines of enquiry to pursue and are working effectively with our partners in Dubai Police.
“Organised crime groups rely on money launderers and cash is their lifeblood. We believe we have significantly disrupted an extensive crime group responsible for trying to wash drugs money.”
The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) – which was set up to bolster the UK’s fight against economic crime - is assisting the investigation and using its unique role in coordinating the response to cash smuggling with international partners.