Cars seized as part of kidnap and cannabis farm probe in wake of raid on South Shields garage
Five men were arrested by Northumbria Police last week as part of a search which centred on a commercial unit in Mitre Place, South Shields.
Two men, aged 56, and 41, were arrested in suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap and have since been released under investigation, while a 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the same offence and released on bail.
The remaining two, aged 26 and 33, were also questioned on suspicion of kidnap and have been released on bail.
The force has said inquiries are ongoing and confirmed the arrests came in connection with a suspected cannabis farm in South Tyneside.
All the men arrested are from the borough.
Two men, believed to be from Vietnam, are being safeguarded following on from the launch of the investigation.
The Gazette also understands several cars have been seized as part of the inquiries.
The commercial address, which is off Temple Town, was searched by police after officers executed a warrant following on from reports of suspicious vehicles at the garage.
Witnesses said they saw police on the scene for a number of days last week following on from the checks on the industrial estate, which is the base for more than a dozen businesses.
Anyone with information which could help inquiries can contact Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.