Test purchase operations involve police posing as drug users to build cases against dealers.Previous operations have concentrated on pushers selling crack and heroin to addicts in deprived areas, but this campaign involved dealers targeting upwardly mobile recreational users.
Having entered the country illegally, gang members used fake Italian and Greek passports to evade detection.
They would offer to people on the street and in bars, as well as running a 24/7 ‘dial-a-drug’ line which surprised officers with its speed and professionalism.
It’s understood around £125,000 in assets is recoverable - much of it in cash seized on raids on their adresses.
Codenamed Operation Cortez, GMP’s crackdown is the first-ever ‘test purchase’ operation in the city centre.
A sophisticated ' dial-a-drug ' crime syndicate has been brought down by a huge police operation.