Limehouse man among seven arrested during raids on money laundering and fraud gang

A man from Limehouse was one of seven arrested this morning during raids on one of the UK’s longest established and most high-profile organised crime gangs.

Operation Octopod targeted gang members suspected of laundering large sums of money through an investment scheme, with some of them known to have links to violence and other serious crime spanning many years.

About 50 officers and specialist financial investigators from the London Regional Asset Recovery Team, the Territorial Support Group, dog unit, local police teams and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs executed search warrants at seven residential addresses.

A man in his thirties, of Fairmount Avenue, Limehouse, was arrested for money laundering and theft, along with others from Finchley, Hendon, Dartford, Dorking and Shoreditch.

Officers seized approximately £100,000 cash at an address in Shoreditch and a Proceeds of Crime Act production order was also served on an accountant’s office.

Detectives are continuing to carry out thorough searches of the individual premises but items including financial documents, computers and mobile phones have already been seized and will be sent away for forensic examination.

Octopod is the biggest coordinated and most concerted operation to date against the organised crime group. Fifteen people were arrested by detectives in February, after officers painstakingly gathered evidence of conspiracy to assault, money laundering, fraud and revenue offences.

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Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Manson of the MPS Specialist, Organised and Economic Crime Command, said: “This is continuing activity, bringing together some of the Met’s most skillful teams to target a highly harmful organised crime group which we believe also has links across Britain and Europe.

“The group as a whole is known to be involved in serious and violent crime which is harming people and damaging communities across London. We believe that those arrested today are laundering huge quantities of cash. We believe that they - with other members of the group - are responsible for a multi-million pound criminal business, the proceeds of which are laundered and either pumped into other illegal money-making schemes or spent on luxurious living.”