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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 14:56 GMT
Police seize guns and cash
The raid
Raids were carried out in Haringey, Harrow and Hackney
Weapons, money and an estimated five million cigarettes have been seized during raids on homes and businesses suspected of being linked to organised crime.

More than 500 police officers took part in the raids at 15 addresses in Haringey and Harrow in north London and Hackney, east London, on Wednesday morning.

Twenty-three people have been arrested on suspicion of guns, drugs and immigration offences.

Weapons, cash, and substances believed to be cocaine were seized, which were linked to investigations into heroin smuggling between the UK, Turkey, Holland and the rest of Europe.

To think we can get rid of it this evening is to kid ourselves, but we are sending messages that their behaviour will not be tolerated

Commander Alan Brown

Police have also reported finding five million cigarettes at an address in Haringey which will be handed over to Customs and Excise.

The raids follow increasingly violent 'turf wars' between Turkish and Kurdish groups in north London, which peaked with an armed street fight in the Green Lanes area of Haringey on 9 November.

Carpenter Alisan Dogan, 43, was stabbed to death and four men were left on life support after the brawl involving up to 40 men.

Detectives investigating Mr Dogan's death arrested a 38-year-old man in Preston on Tuesday in connection with the inquiry.

Since Mr Dogan's death, there have been 300 arrests in Green Lanes over guns, theft and other offences.

Seismic response

Chief Superintendent Stephen James described the Green Lanes violence as a "seismic incident".

Police in Edgware arrest a man
23 people were arrested
He added: "One man died, four were on life support, there were 20 others that could not crawl away and dozens who did crawl away to seek first aid from their own sources.

"Our response has also had to be seismic."

Commander Alan Brown, who leads the fight against gun crime in London, said: "It's not going to be over this evening. It will go on for months.

"We are sending messages that their behaviour will not be tolerated."

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  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Steve Kingstone
"This was the largest operation of its kind in London"

Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

21 Nov 02 | England
20 Nov 02 | England
11 Nov 02 | England
29 Aug 02 | Wales
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