(UKPA) – 14 hours ago
A Romanian crime ring suspected of smuggling child thieves into Britain has been smashed following a joint crackdown involving the Metropolitan Police.
About 300 police officers executed search warrants at 33 homes in Tandarei, south east Romania, on Thursday.
Police in Romania said 30 people were questioned on suspicion of taking 168 Roma or Gypsy children - aged between seven and 15 - to Britain for "criminal activities".
Pistols, hunting rifles and large sums of money were seized in the house searches and 17 people arrested.
More than 20 officers from the Metropolitan Police took part in the operation.
"The Romanian National Police Organised Crime Unit executed search warrants at 33 addresses in Tandarei, south east Romania," said a Metropolitan Police spokesman.
"The operation is being supported by Metropolitan Police officers from Operation Golf - an investigation into child trafficking."