Skorpion machine gun found in London as war against citys violence continues
Hundreds of police officers launched raids in London overnight, seizing drugs and firearms including a Skorpion sub-machine gun.
They have taken out a line supplying Earls Court and Fulhum with drugs, the Met Police said, dealing a massive blow to the MDP gang.
It took six months of planning before police were ready for the raids, where ammunition, cash and suspected Class A drugs were seized.
Some 200 officers smashed in doors across west London overnight, arresting nine people including some believed to be senior figures in the gang.
At a house in Dorchester Close, Northolt, young children could be heard crying as dozens of officers flooded inside shouting: Police.
One address in Earls Court had been cuckooed, which happens when criminals take over a vulnerable persons or drug addicts flat to sell drugs from it – named after the cuckoo bird which lays its eggs in other birds nests.
An alleged drug-running boy, aged 14, arrested at his family home, was among those detained in eight raids in the Northolt, Greenford, Fulham and Brentford areas.
The arrests were connected to the established MDP gang, police said, which has been linked with several murders.
Those detained were held over offences such as conspiracy to supply drugs and possession of firearms.
Elsewhere, as a police squad crept up to one seemingly empty address in Stephendale Road, Fulham, officers noticed a 30-year-old suspect sitting in a car.
During a search officers found a Skorpion machine pistol along with another handgun, 40 rounds of ammunition, and a kilo of suspected class A drugs, Scotland Yard said.
Detective Inspector Driss Hayoukane said: What weve taken out is probably a line which has been supplying the Earls Court and Fulham areas. This gang have been running that line for quite a while and making a lot of money.
These gangs have corrupted children and are using them to ferry drugs.
If you look across London these are the kids that are getting involved in violence and stabbings because they are generally on the streets while the suppliers are removed from it, collecting the cash.
Key gangsters drove flashy cars and showed off their wealth online with luxury holidays to places like Dubai, he added.
Those arrested in the operation by the Mets anti-gang Trident unit were aged between 14 and 49 and are now in custody.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick had been on patrol in Hackney, inner London, on Wednesday evening, where she said gang tensions were high after a spate of stabbings in recent weeks, including the killing of 18-year-old Israel Ogunsola.
Speaking to reporters shortly before the raids, she said the suspects had been causing devastation and fear in communities.
She said: They are very violent, several of them have a history of serious violence, at least one is suspected of regularly using a firearm.
She added: When I arrived just over a year ago weve been stepping up our anti-violence operations, weve been learning along the way.
In the last two weeks or so, and in particular since last weekend, weve been doing more and more. The Met is working very hard.
Asked if raids had been stepped up following a recent rise in violent crime in London, DI Hayoukane said: Its business as usual for us, our unit works to capacity all the time.
Since the start of the year, there have been more than 50 suspected murders in London.