FOUR men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs after a police swoop in the early hours.
The arrests today were carried out following raids at addresses in Knowsley Village in Moreton, Wallasey, Old Swan, the Midlands and Paisley in Scotland.
Searches of the properties are ongoing.
It follows an extensive investigation by detectives from the specialist Matrix team, which is responsible for tackling serious and organised crime.
During the investigation officers have seized five kilos of heroin and half a tonne of adulterants, which are used as cutting agents for Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
The men are also being held on conspiracy to assist in the supply controlled drugs.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Richardson, Head of Matrix Serious Organised Crime investigation wing, said: "Acting on information we carefully planned this initiative over several months.
"These arrests reaffirm our commitment to tackling drug supply and supports the force's wider Serious and Organised Crime Strategy.
"The force has announced today that it is building on the success of the specialist Matrix Team, which was established back in 2005 to target gun and gang related crime, with the creation of the Matrix Serious Organised Crime portfolio.
"The creation of the new department brings together 1500 officers and support staff from the existing Matrix team, the Force Intelligence Bureau, Force Crime Operations Unit (FCOU) and Operational Support Unit.
"By bringing these teams together under one umbrella the force will provide a more resilient and sophisticated approach to tackling the threats of serious and organised crime (gun crime, major crime investigations including murder and rape, the supply and distribution of controlled drugs, hi-tech crime, child sexual exploitation and financial crime).
"They will work closely with different partner organisations to ensure that all avenues are explored, and legislation used to disrupt serious and organised crime on Merseyside."
He added: "Today's operation is just one example of the Force's commitment - with the support of the public and partner agencies - to tackling drug related crime and organised crime groups working in the Merseyside area.
"We know that the drugs we have seized during this investigation were destined for supply across the North West of England, Scotland and the North East and would have caused untold misery in a number of different communities.
"Organised crime, which includes the production and supply of drugs, blights our communities and puts ordinary law abiding people at risk.
"I would like to reassure the public that we will keep up the pressure on those involved in serious and organised crime on Mersyside.
"We will relentlessly pursue these offenders and put them before the courts to make our streets safer.”
The suspects have been taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will be interviewed by detectives.