NewsCrime Desk

Ferrari, Bentley, Range Rover and large amount of cash seized from Traveller sites

Crime DeskBy Shuki Byrne
Seizure: The high-powered Ferrari discovered by police in Cardiff
Seizure: The high-powered Ferrari discovered by police in Cardiff

Police have seized a brand new Ferrari worth £166,000, several other high-powered vehicles and a large sum of cash following a series of dawn raids in Cardiff.

The 196mph supercar was one of several vehicles confiscated as part of South Wales Police's latest offensive in tackling organised crime within the Traveller community.

Senior detectives said they have arrested 20 people for a range of alleged offences including money laundering, high-value theft and forced labour.

Other items seized included a Range Rover, a Bentley, a "substantial" amount of cash, guns, several swords and even a golf cart.

Police said the dawn raids took place yesterday morning and targeted organised criminality in the community. 

Chief superintendent Belinda Davies described the investigation - dubbed Purple Barracuda - as "complex and sensitive".

She said: "Yesterday more than 250 officers executed a number of warrants at locations in Cardiff.

"Suspected proceeds of crime ranging from luxury cars including a Ferrari and a Range Rover were seized along with a very substantial amount of cash.

"One of the most critical elements was the protection of British and foreign nationals from forced labour and poor working conditions.

"Thirteen people who were found in various addresses were taken to a specialist reception centre where support is now being offered."

Search warrants were executed at three locations across the Welsh capital yesterday - New House Farm, Shirenewton caravan site and a property in Newport Road, Rumney.

One of the sites is connected with the well-known Doran family who have ties in Kilkenny. 

Police said the offensive - which forms part of the wider Operation Fulcrum - took place in conjunction with officers from the National Crime Agency.

Other alleged offences included the "large scale abstraction of electricity".

Inspector James Dyson said the swoop was the result of several months of planning and research.

He added: "To ensure the operation addressed all aspects of criminality, advice was sought from other law enforcement agencies - including the National Crime Agency.

"A police response such as this will no doubt have an impact on the traveller community within Cardiff and beyond.

"With a view to this, there is an ongoing engagement process with Cardiff Council and the traveller community.

"The policing response was designed to reassure (people) that South Wales Police are there to represent and serve all, and will address any criminality and anti-social behaviour that exists."

No details on the age of the forced labour victims or where they are from have been released. Nor have the age or genders of those arrested.