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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Police raids against Tamil crime
Officers raid an address
Police say a minority are intimidating the community
Thirteen men have been arrested in a series of early morning raids which aim to clampdown on crime within London's Tamil community.

The Sri Lankan men, all aged 18 to 25, were arrested on suspicion of crimes including theft, fraud and money laundering, as part of Operation Enver.

Around 250 police raided 22 address and seized items including swords, axes, credit cards and a credit card reader.

The raids took place in Brent, Harrow, Redbridge, Croydon and Newham.

Commander Alfred Hitchcock blamed a minority of people within the 110,000-strong community for violence and intimidation.

Profits from crime

He said: "The majority of the Sri Lankan community are very law abiding, but there are small groups of people taking advantage, intimidating them and committing these offences.

"We have been looking at the criminality and violence within the Tamil community, we have made inroads with these arrests, but it is not the end of the process."

Five of the men were arrested at one address on suspicion of theft.

At a second address five more were arrested - two on suspicion of money laundering and three on suspected theft and fraud charges.

Two more men were being held over a suspected drug deal and another man was arrested on a warrant from Northampton.

Commander Hitchcock would not rule out the use of profits from crimes being used to fund the rebel Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, as well as for personal gain.




SEE ALSO:
Violence of Tamil gangs revealed
10 Sep 03  |  London
Detectives link Tamil murders
17 Jun 03  |  London
Tamils preying on Tamils
25 May 02  |  UK News


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