Fourteen people were arrested and more than £50,000 of cash was seized as part of another crackdown on organised crime in Oldham.
In addition, more than £40,000 of assets were seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). A quantity of Class A drugs were discovered but the street values and quantities are yet to be confirmed.
The Operation Caminada team achieved the results after executing 15 warrants at businesses and houses across the town. This phase of action started on Monday 9 July 2012 after months of intelligence gathering.
Partners from the DWP, Environment Agency, Local Authority and other agencies accompanied police on the warrants. More than £50,000 of benefit fraud was discovered and several warning and prohibition notices were issued in relation to business activities of the targets.
Chief Superintendent Tim Forber, the Divisional Commander for the Oldham Division of Greater Manchester Police said: “Those involved in serious organised crime devastate communities and thanks to information from the public we have once again been able to disrupt criminal lifestyles and make Oldham a safer place to live.
“Since November 2011, we have made more than 150 arrests and seized more than £500,000 of cash, drugs and other assets as part of Operation Caminada. The message is simple, there is no hiding place and we will continue to disrupt and seize criminal gains from those involved in a life of crime.”
Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: "Organised crime is a serious blight on local communities and can only be tackled effectively by co-ordinated partnership working by Oldham Council alongside the police and other agencies.”
"It’s our ordinary residents and businesses who suffer the effects of organised crime in its various guises such as street corner drug dealing, loan sharks, illegal firearms, money laundering, blackmail, identity theft and fraud.
“Operations like this send a message to criminals that all the agencies in the area have considerable intelligence and will work together. It also sends a message to the law-abiding majority that we’re prepared to stand up and fight for our neighbourhoods.
“Many of the victims are among the most vulnerable members of society who suffer long-term damage as a result. It’s vital that they know we are taking action and raising awareness to enable people and businesses to protect themselves. I would urge any residents with information about these kind of activities to report it to the police. By working together co-operatively to detect and deter these criminal networks we have a better chance of putting them out of business and improving lives across our borough.”
People can contact police with information on 101, the new national non-emergency number.
Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that will not want your name, just your information. Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement.