Dawn raids across Salford saw 12 men arrested by Greater Manchester Police officers yesterday in a bid to tackle organised crime.
Officers from a multi-agency organised crime task force arrested the men on suspicion of money laundering, violent disorder and drugs offences.
Project Gulf officers made the arrests following an incident at the Blue Bell pub on Monton Green on December 9, 2012, in which a group of men entered and assaulted a number of people inside.
Superintendent Wayne Miller stated the arrests – which were made after police reviewed CCTV footage of the incident – demonstrate that organised crime will not be tolerated in Salford.
“Today’s action reflects the determined and pro active approach we are taking to identify and disrupt organised crime groups operating in Salford,” he said.
Items recovered during the arrests include cash, drugs, balaclavas, body armour and a crossbow and the suspects remain in police custody for questioning.
Superintendent Miller said: “We were not called directly to the incident but as soon as we became aware we took and continue to take steps to identify those involved.
“We recovered some CCTV that quite clearly shows a determined and coordinated effort on the part of a significantly large number of offenders to deliberately target some of those inside the pub.
“It is clear to me that this was not a random incident but an attempt by a gang of men to commit serious violence and to intimidate and threaten our communities.”
Pictures which may indicate affiliations to organised crime groups were also seized by police.
As part of a joint agency approach three housing inspections, two visits from local authority social workers and eight benefit fraud inspections were also carried out.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd lauded the work of the various agencies involved following the arrests.
“Today’s operation was a fantastic example of partnership working with the police, council and local community all joining forces to make a stand against organised crime,” he said.
“Project Gulf shows how working together can make a real difference to Greater Manchester people. It also acts as a warning to those involved in organised crime that it simply will not be tolerated.”