Dawn raids target Finsbury's 'Easy Cash' gang linked to smash and grabs at The Dorchester in Mayfair
PUBLISHED: 12:24 15 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:24 15 October 2014
A violent gang linked to high profile smash and grab robberies across the city were hit by police in dawn raids across the borough this morning.
“Operation Razor” saw 380 Met officers swoop on 22 addresses in Islington and Camden in the third raid on the infamous Easy Cash or EC1 gang – responsible for drug dealing and violent crime in Finsbury and Clerkenwell – in just two years.
The gang, which uses mopeds to commit robberies, is thought to be behind two similar smash and grab raids at The Dorchester hotel in Mayfair in the summer – both of which saw sledge hammers used to make off with luxury watches and jewellery.
As of yesterday morning police had arrested 12 men and one woman aged between 16 and 30 for offences including drug dealing, money laundering, theft and possession of a fire arm. They also recovered thousands of pounds worth of cash and Class A drugs from the properties.
Detective Superintendent Rafael D’Orsi, who was overseeing the operation, said: “The way in which this gang initiate their crime is using mopeds and the guys and girls that we are arresting today are all involved in drug dealing.
“We will be arresting them for the drug offences but we are also looking for evidence linked to moped related robberies and weapons.
“Through today’s operation I want to send a clear message to those who seek to peddle misery in the form of class A and B drugs or feel that the carriage or use of offensive weapons is acceptable, and that is such criminality will not be tolerated in London.”
Det Sup D’Orsi said the raids would hit gang members at all levels, “from the street to the back door”, and that several of those being targeted had previously been charged for fire arms offences.
Despite mainly operating in the south of the borough the gang has members all across Islington and Camden and previous raids targeted the group in September 2012 and March 2014.
Doors were smashed at an address in Aberdeen Park in Highbury and in Ampton Street off Gray’s End Road, Kings Cross, where a Met POLSAR unit swept for weapons after a shotgun cartridge and ammunition were found at a property there.
Inspector Mick O’Donoghue, who has been in close contact with residents over a clamp down on the gang, said: “The Easy Cash thought they were untouchable in their criminal activities and that the normal rules of society didn’t apply to them.
“The fact they chose to openly deal class-A drugs from a children’s play area shows the total disregard they had for the community in which they all live. “There is no hiding place for those who choose to use violence and deal drugs on the streets of London.”