Eight held in Merseyside Police-led dawn drugs raids

Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of drug dealing and money laundering in early morning raids.

Eighteen addresses were targeted in Sefton, north Liverpool, Lancashire and Oxfordshire in an operation led by Merseyside Police.

Officers seized heroin, cocaine, cannabis plants and ecstasy tablets.

The raids, involving other forces, were the result of a year-long operation tackling drug dealing in the UK, a spokesman said.

Officers from the Merseyside force's specialist Matrix team, which targets guns and drugs crime, also worked in tandem with the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency (SCDEA).

'Extensive investigation'

They seized 500g (17oz) of heroin with 1kg (2lb) of quantities of adulterant valued at £350,000, cocaine worth £26,000, and a substantial number of cannabis plants valued at £25,000 to £50,000.

Several thousand ecstasy tablets worth more than £50,000 were recovered along with a rotary tablet manufacturing machine, used to produce the tablets.

A cannabis farm was also discovered in Walton and a small quantity of shotgun ammunition was found in addition.

Head of Matrix, Det Ch Supt Paul Richardson, said: "The arrests made today are the result of an extensive investigation by detectives.

"Acting on information we carefully planned this initiative over several months."

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