May 1, 2012 / 10:14 AM / 8 years ago

UK police arrest 7 over suspected terrorism funding

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Tuesday they had arrested seven people on suspicion of financing terrorism overseas and money laundering.

The six men and one woman were arrested in early morning raids in London, Welsh capital Cardiff and Coventry in the English midlands, police said. The arrests were part of an international investigation into the illegal export of the stimulant qat to the United States and Canada.

“The arrests were a part of a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation into suspected fundraising for terrorism overseas,” London’s Metropolitan Police said.

The operation was being conducted with the U.S. Homeland Security, police said.

Officers were investigating a network suspected of exporting the plant qat, which is legal in Britain, to the United States and Canada where it is a controlled substance.

Police were also searching seven other residential properties in London, Coventry and Worthing on England’s southern coast and business premises in Coventry.

Reporting by Tim Castle; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo

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