Police raid con artists fleecing tourists on Westminster Bridge
Police surprised a group of Romanian con artists who were fleecing tourists on Westminster Bridge this morning by turning up en masse in a London bus.
The bright red double decker Arriva London bus gave the 30 policeman an advantage to ambush the illegal gamblers who were taking tourists' cash.
Officers from the Safer Transport Command waited on the bus for five hours before striking, according to the Daily Mail.
More than 25 Romanians were detained and 12 were charged with gaming offences; one of the people arrested was a woman with a young baby in a pram, who was later released.
Up to nine gangs playing fraudulent dice or 'three card trick' games have been seen operating on the bridge in recent weeks, taking hundreds of pounds from tourists; one American tourist lost $200 in 90 seconds.
Police have struggled to arrest the gangs as they scatter in seconds upon their approach.
Officers recovered hundreds of pound in cash, as well as gaming sets, in the move, which was one of a series of raids carried out on thieves yesterday codenamed Operation Ursus, involving 400 officers making at least 54 arrests.
Sgt Darin Birmingham, who masterminded the operation, told the Daily Mail: "London is suffering from crime coming from Eastern Europe and this has got to stop. People who come to London for the Olympic Games want a nice trip, they do not want to get ripped off."
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