Met officers have raided a garage and five addresses in Bexley for suspected involvement in fitting ‘hide’ compartments in vehicles for the use of organised criminals.

Specialist Crime detectives also seized three cards and arrested four men early yesterday morning (Tuesday, 10 May) for their suspected involvement in installing the sophisticated hides made to conceal and transport illegal items such as drugs and cash.

The raids are the latest stage of a long-term investigation that has been ongoing for some time while detectives built up evidence of the operations of the garage and the activity of those suspected to be involved in it.

So far officers have recovered more than 30 vehicles believed to have been fitted with hides by the garage and believe there are significantly more. To date, more than 15kgs of class A drugs, 17kgs of class B drugs and £350k in cash have been seized throughout the investigation.

Detective Inspector Lydia Stephens said: “We have been investigating the garage and the individuals believed to be concerned in installing the hides for some time.

“The compartments can only be installed for one purpose: concealing illegal items in order to facilitate serious organised crime. So far it has led us to identify a number of organised crime groups in London and nationwide.

“This investigation is a prime example of the excellent work of our specialist detectives working tirelessly to apprehend criminals who believed they can operate beyond the arm of the law, facilitating the workings of organised crime groups and profiting from doing so. This activity cannot continue and the Met is working harder than ever to bear down on serious organised crime and keep communities safe.”

A 48-year-old man from Bexleyheath, a 40-year-old man from Sidcup, a 31-year-old man from Welling and a 35-year-old man from Gravesend were all arrested on suspicion of participation in the criminal activities of an organised crime group under section 45 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.

They all remain in police custody while the investigation continues.