Fifteen arrested in Zeus drugs raids

A suspected organised crime gang in Holyhead was at the centre of the biggest drugs operation in North Wales for twenty years.

Fifteen people were arrested as over 30 raids were carried out across Anglesey and Conwy county early on Tuesday morning. Cocaine and other controlled drugs were seized along with cash and other items across the region.

More than 250 officers were involved in Operation Zeus, including colleagues in Merseyside and Greater Manchester where several raids also took place. The crackdown had taken over twelve months to plan and prepare.

In North Wales, the raids were centred on the Holyhead, Conwy and Llandudno areas – but in one case, a search on a family’s home at Gwel-y-Mynydd in Holyhead was carried out by mistake.

Police said the occupants were not connected with the investigation and had apologised for the distress caused – they added the force would arrange for the damage caused to be repaired.

The fifteen suspects arrested are being held at three undisclosed custody suites across North Wales and are waiting to be questioned – they are from Holyhead, Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Liverpool and Manchester.

Among the key arrests, a Holyhead man in his thirties is being held on suspicion of conspiring to supply class A controlled drugs, money laundering and perverting the course of justice.

In a statement, North Wales Police said the intelligence-led operation was launched into the activities of a suspected organised crime gang which spread beyond Holyhead to include the whole of Anglesey, parts of Conwy county and other areas of north west Wales.

Detective Superintendent Iestyn Davies said: ”It has been abundantly clear this morning from the community’s response that our action was very well received. Our commitment in keeping our communities safe remains a priority is also aimed at those bringing drugs into our communities from outside north Wales and in line with ‘Operation Scorpion’ is directly targeting serious and organised crime. It is vitally important we listen to concerns from our local communities and where necessary take proportionate and positive action.”

Earlier, while searches continued across the region, Chief Inspector Mark Armstrong said: ”Drugs trafficking of any kind will remain a priority. It brings misery, violence and profiteering to our streets however we can’t tackle this alone and key to all our work is intelligence and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the community sharing their concerns with us. Sometimes that takes a little time to turn into visible action so please bear with us. We are listening and we will act when the time is right.”