Raids were carried out in Cleckheaton, Dewsbury and Bradford this morning.
Eight men have been arrested in West Yorkshire this morning, as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the smuggling of millions of pounds out of the UK to Dubai hidden in suitcases.
They were taken into custody following a series of raids at addresses in Cleckheaton, Bradford and Dewsbury.
A ninth man was also arrested at an address in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
NCA investigators believe the nine men arrested today are part of an organised crime group responsible for the smuggling last year.
Nine linked suspects were previously arrested by Border Force officers trying to smuggle money out of the UK, and a further six suspects have been arrested and questioned about their suspected roles as money-laundering facilitators and co-ordinators.
In total, with today’s activity there have been 24 arrests linked to this investigation. As part of the wider investigation into the OCG, £2.3m has been seized.
NCA operations manager Jon Hughes said of today’s arrests:
“Border Force have done excellent work preventing the money leaving the UK and we have a series of lines of enquiry to pursue and are working effectively with our partners in Dubai Police.
“Organised crime groups rely on money launderers and cash is their lifeblood. We believe we have significantly disrupted an extensive crime group responsible for trying to wash drugs money.”
The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) – which was set up to bolster the UK’s fight against economic crime - is assisting the investigation and using its unique role in coordinating the response to cash smuggling with international partners.