National Crime Agency
Four more arrested in international firearms operation
Four people have been arrested and five properties searched as part of an ongoing joint investigation between the National Crime Agency, Bulgarian law enforcement and Merseyside Police.
A man and woman, both in their 20s, were arrested this morning at an address in Birkenhead, Merseyside, on suspicion of conspiring to import firearms.
Another woman in her 20s was arrested at an address in Eastham, Wirrall, on suspicion of money laundering. A man in his 50s was arrested at an address in Upton, Wirrall, on suspicion of possession of class A drugs.
The four were arrested weeks after the same investigation resulted in 13 arrests across Merseyside and Bulgaria and the recovery of 56 firearms and 80kg of heroin.
Five properties were searched yesterday in Birkenhead and the Wirral by NCA and Merseyside Police officers.
Paul Risby, NCA Branch Commander, yesterday said:
“We are working relentlessly with partners to exploit every lead that emerges from our investigation so far.
“The recovery of the 56 firearms was a significant triumph in our fight against gun trafficking into the UK.
“And though we have hugely disrupted the organised crime group there is still work to do.”
Detective Superintendent Lisa Mahon of Merseyside Police, yesterday said:
“We continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those involved in gun crime and it is vital that we work with our partners including the NCA to tackle weapon supply and pursue those on Merseyside who are involved in serious organised crime.
“I hope the people of Merseyside recognise that we are committed to making our communities and streets safer and that we will continue to take action when necessary.
“I would urge anyone who has any information about those involved in serious organised crime, or gun crime, on Merseyside to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, and we will act on all information received.”
Last month nine suspects were arrested in Birkenhead and the Wirral and four more were arrested in Bulgaria.
Two packages destined for Merseyside were intercepted and contained 14 firearms, eight silencers and 691 rounds of ammunition.
In co-ordinated strikes Bulgarian authorities made their arrests and also seized 39 handguns, 21 silencers, 1,253 rounds of ammunition and 80kg of heroin all destined for the UK.
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