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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 21:13 GMT
Stolen mobile phone network raids
Police van
Islington police led the raids
More than 200 officers have raided businesses in north London as part of a crackdown on stolen mobile phones.

Three cafes and a shop in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, were searched on Wednesday afternoon.

A total of 14 people were arrested over various offences including handling stolen goods.

Police said it was a "proportionate response to an international problem where organised criminals are linked to street crime across the capital".

Led by Islington police, officers from the Metropolitan Police, Customs and Excise and Trading Standards took part in the raids at about 1530 GMT.

There's not a continent in this world that we have not found a mobile phone that has been stolen in London
Det Supt Eddie Thompson

They arrested 14 people, 10 on suspicion of handling stolen goods, one for immigration offences, one for possession of drugs and two were wanted by the police.

Police said that 50% of London street crime was related to mobile phone crime and the operation should help reduce crime figures.

More than 100,000 handsets are stolen in London every year and police said Finsbury Park has become synonymous with selling them on.

Police said the strategy was aimed at taking out the crime at street level.

Det Supt Eddie Thompson of the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, said the mobile phones, stolen through street crime in London, have been handed through "high street and back street premises" and subsequently exported throughout the world.

"There's not a continent in this world that we have not found a mobile phone that has been stolen in London."

Four held in mobile phone raids
10 Oct 03 |  London

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