Crime assets seized

Six members of the same family have been arrested after an operation to recover alleged assets of crime found cash and luxury cars worth more than £380,000.

Six members of the same family have been arrested after an operation to recover alleged assets of crime found cash and luxury cars worth more than £380,000.

Officers seized the property in North Tyneside after an investigation into money laundering in the area.

Detectives concentrated their inquiries on the expensive lifestyle of a group of people allegedly living beyond their means.

A clutch of £280,000 in cash was recovered during the operation on Wednesday, along with an Audi, a BMW and Ford van, said to be worth around £100,000.

Around 150 Ecstasy tablets and one ounce of cocaine, with a street value of around £1,500, were also seized in the raids.

On Wednesday, six people, all relatives or partners, were arrested. Det Insp Mick Barton, of North Shields CID, said: "We have seized an enormous amount of cash.

"It sends out a message to those who think they can make a lucrative lifestyle living off the earnings of crime.

"We have arrested six people in connection with the inquiry after searching 10 homes and businesses on North Tyneside connected with the suspects."

Police have worked for months to disrupt the alleged illicit operation. Officers seized the property under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Officers also searched a small boat and a gymnasium in their hunt for property.

Those arrested include three women, aged 44, 26 and 22, and three men, aged 45, 43 and 29.

All the suspects have been bailed until December while police seek permission through the courts to retain the alleged assets of crime, and prevent other property from being disposed.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, police were given the power to target anyone with cash believed to be obtained from, or intended for, criminal activity.

Det Insp Barton said: "We are determined to show decent, law-abiding members of the public that we are committed to tackling organised criminality."

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