EIGHT people from Dorset have been arrested in dawn raids as part of a police operation to target money laundering.

More than 100 officers were involved in executing search warrants at 16 premises this morning in Swanage, Bournemouth, Manchester and Barnstable in Devon under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Three men aged 27, 33 and 35 and four women aged 31, 41, 43 and 55 from Swanage were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to supply class B drugs.

A 57-year-old man from Wareham was also arrested.
Three more people from Manchester, two men and a woman, were also arrested as part of the operation.

Officers seized cash, a prohibited firearm and class B drugs in the raids.

A cannabis factory was also discovered.

The operation was led by regional organised crime unit Zephyr.

Purbeck Neighbourhood Inspector Fiona Gaffney said: “This was a well-planned and executed operation which has resulted in 11 arrests.

“Zephyr enquiries reveal this is believed to be linked to multiple drug seizures across the country over the last two years.

“This is Dorset Police’s ongoing commitment to tackle alleged serious and organised crime in partnership with other agencies.

“We would like to reassure the public that we will listen to any information they give to us and take it seriously.”