A British police raid on safe deposit boxes has revealed an "Aladdin's cave of criminality" that spans murder, money laundering, pedophilia, people trafficking and drug running. The findings have led to 1,000 inquiries around the world.
More than 3,500 boxes were raided by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Specialist Crime Directorate in June last year.
They seized $51.5 million of cash in various denominations, of which $1.5 million has still to be claimed, dozens of passports, cocaine, firearms, forged banking bonds, including one for $4.95 million, suitcases full of gold and cannabis.
The contents of some of the boxes are being investigated by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, The Times has learned.
Seven hundred of the box holders are being referred to Customs for suspected tax evasion involving $22 million and officers have discovered a significant number of "ghosts" – people who have never paid any tax at all.
Elephant tusks worth $58,000 were also confiscated after a suspect's home was searched.
Police inquiries have led all over the world and officers expect the investigations to run for years to come. So far 11 people have been charged in connection with the raid, codenamed Operation Rize, and 40 have been arrested.
More than half of the boxes are thought to be connected to criminal activity.Click here to read more on this story from The Times of London.