POLICE gangbusters delivered a crushing blow to one of London’s most notorious mobs early today days after a wave of murders swept through the city.
A number of swoops was carried out on the homes of suspected leaders of the MDP gang – short for ‘Murder Dem P******’ and ‘Money, Drugs, Power'.
Cops made nine arrests in a series of dramatic raids in the early hours this morning
A Scorpion machine gun was seized along with a handgun, ammunition, large amounts of Class A drugs and cash, days after the murder rate soared in the capital.
A 14-year-old boy was one of nine people arrested for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs during co-ordinated raids on eight addresses in West and South London, which began at 1.30am.
The Sun accompanied police during one swoop on a council flat under the M4 flyover at Brentford, targeting a 34-year-old suspect.
As they arrived to arrest him, sharp-eyed cops spotted the man with a female passenger in a Vauxhall Corsa reversing out of a car park next to the block of flats where he lives.
Wraps of crack cocaine were found in the car and the pair were arrested along with another woman in the suspect’s second-floor flat at the time.
Two hundred police officers took part in this morning’s operation.
It followed a six-month investigation by a covert Viper team on the Met’s Operation Trident gang crime squad.
Today’s raids are part of a major crackdown by the London force on the mushrooming gang culture.
It has fuelled the rocketing number of murders in the capital this year, which eclipsed New York’s homicide rate for the first time last month.
The Met are investigating 55 murders carried out since January 1.
Among them is innocent 17-year-old girl Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, shot during a drive-by gang-related shooting in Tottenham, North London, last Monday.
Today’s offensive, codenamed Operation Todhabi, mainly targeted men in their late 20’s and 30’s who are suspected to be leading figures in the MDP gang.
The West London-based gang has been historically linked to murders, knife crimes, shootings and the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine.
They are believed to have used children to sell and transport drugs on the streets and also had a flat in Earl’s Court where drugs were openly dealt and advertised with a phone line.
A 49-year-old woman was arrested at the address on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
A substantial amount of Class A drugs was allegedly found when the 14-year-old boy was arrested at his family home in Stephendale Road, Fulham.
The Scorpion machine gun was found at another address in the same road with a hand gun, 40 rounds of ammunition, a kilo of a Class A drug and cash.
A 30-year-old suspect who lives there was away from the address when cops executed a search warrant there.
But he was captured an hour later after his car was stopped by police in Acton after its details were circulated.
Met commissioner Cressida Dick was present today when gun cops from the SC&O19 firearms unit raided the home of the MDP’s 28-year-old suspected leader in Blenheim Close, Greenford.
He is alleged to have enjoyed the trappings of wealth from using youngsters to supply drugs for him and drove an Audi S5 and took regular holidays in Dubai.
Crack, heroin and cash were allegedly recovered from his home today.
Earlier on Wednesday night the commissioner joined a stop and search patrol during a separate operation in Hackney, East London.
It led to the arrest of two people, one of them a 38-year-old man for possession of drugs and possessing a knife.
Last weekend the commissioner deployed an extra 300 officers on to the streets of the capital to stem the rising tide of violence.
She was earlier forced to deny police had lost control of the streets after a shocking spate of murders.
Ms Dick insisted today that her officers were “very determined to get out there and take the men of violence off the streets.”
Speaking before this morning’s raids were launched from a police base in North West London, she said the suspects “are very violent.”
Ms Dick continued: “Tonight, after some really good, strong work over the last few months, we were in a position to go out and execute warrants in relation to a number of people.
"At least one of them at least is suspected of regularly using a firearm. They are all being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to sell heroin and crack cocaine.
“They have been making a huge amount of money using violence and exploiting very young and vulnerable people.
“They need to be locked up.”
"People like this, who may appear to have been operating with impunity for a period of time, cause devastation and fear. It sends a very strong signal to the public, who are very supportive in the police in these sorts of operations, that we are putting a lot of effort into carrying out work like this."
She went on: “We are trying to send a message that carrying a weapon is dangerous.
“It is likely to get you killed and locked up. We will come after you.”
After the raid were concluded, Operation Trident’s Detective Inspector Dris Hayoukane said the raids had been successful and taken out the gang’s elders.
He said of the gang’s drug dealing activities : “It was being run by established gang members and they used young children to assist them.
“Children are being exposed to violence. The children are the ones likely to be caught up in the stabbings because they are on the streets and there is a risk from rivals….”
All the arrested suspects were taken to a West London police station.
Police said the two women held at the Brentford address, one in the Vauxhall car, were aged 33 and 34. One was held for supplying drugs and the other on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
In other raids, a 29-year-old man was arrested in Dorchester Close, Northolt, and 17-year-old boy was held at an address in Fulham Road.
A raid was carried out on a property in Bromley, though the suspect was not home and is being hunted.