August 04, 2020

Cocaine, £13m in cash and jewellery found after police discover secret hideaways

July 05, 2020

Some of London's "most dangerous criminals" have been arrested and jewellery, cocaine and £13m in cash seized after specially built "hides" were discovered in transit vans by the Met Police.

Officers found three hide boxes in vehicles used by suspects arrested as part of a police operation, which the force says is one of its largest to tackle serious and organised crime in the capital.

Two of these boxes looked like an electrical generator box, police said, "that you might see in the back of any tradesman's van, and were covered in tools and other building equipment".

A third hide was built into the floor of the rear of a van, and opened by remote control.

The force said opening the boxes involved a "complex" method - they first had to be powered up using an electrical transformer device, with a specially made key fob needed to engage a hydraulic lock inside.

Details of the number of arrests have not been released.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said: "Criminals go to great lengths to conceal drugs, weapons and the proceeds of their crimes.

"Officers regularly encounter hides in vehicles and at properties - some are basic, and some are specially constructed at significant cost to stash away evidence and illegal profits.

"Our officers instinctively look for evidence in places you wouldn't think to look and have the knowledge and expertise to gain access to even the most sophisticated hides with complex locking mechanisms.

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"These people think their wealth is untouchable, and the sole motivation for people involved in serious organised crime is money.

"That is why, as part of these investigations, we will look closely at their finances and use all the resources and legislation available to us to take everything they have obtained using criminal funds away from them, and bring them to justice."

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