/Drugs gangs are bankrolling festival-size illegal raves and street parties

Drugs gangs are bankrolling festival-size illegal raves and street parties

Gangsters are funding “festival-sized” raves to create a marketplace to sell their drugs, police say.

More than 7,000 people flocked to raves and street parties in Carrington, Oldham, and Moss Side, in Greater Manchester, this month.

Two men were shot dead, three people were stabbed, a woman was raped and a 20-year-old died of a drugs overdose at the unregulated events.

Police in Staffordshire, Kent and London are also dealing with gatherings.

Last week 22 officers were hurt breaking up a street party in Brixton, South London.

Officers were also given dispersal powers to break up unlicensed events at Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common on Saturday.

Police raid a gathering on Tooting Bec Common
(Image: UKNIP)
Thousands of people turned up at raves in Manchester
(Image: Manchester Evening News WS)

Greater Manchester Police fear a summer of “giant raves” and have made two arrests in relation to an event being planned for this weekend.

The rave at Boggart Hole Clough, an area of a woodland in Blackley, north Manchester, is being promoted on WhatsApp.

A police source said: “We have evidence to suggest some of these events have been financially supported by organised criminals.

Officers released harrowing footage of medical rescue operations at a rave in Manchester

“Clubs and bars are currently shut due to lockdown. Criminals are adapting by using raves to supply pills, cocaine, cannabis, MDMA and ketamine.

“Laughing gas canisters are also very popular. A gang that controls the drug supply of a 4,000-person rave event stands to make an enormous amount of money.”

Thugs smash police car at Brixton rave
(Image: Twitter)

Pat Karney, a senior Manchester councillor, added: “These dangerous events require a lot of money to set up.

“It appears criminals are providing the cash to set up the raves, which have six or seven DJs and generator equipment.

“The gangs will then make large profits from a ready-made marketplace of thousands of potential customers.”

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Melissa Cook, 18, who was at the rave in Daisy Nook country park near Oldham, said it was “crazy” how many dealers were there.

She said: “They were brazen. I saw a guy waving a bag of pills. They offered ketamine and ecstasy.”

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