A MAN was arrested in Rochford as part of a national crackdown on a notorious gang who shot a five-year-old girl and left her paralysed.

The 23-year-old was arrested in a joint operation by Essex and Met Police officers yesterday morning.

He was arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs as part of the Guns and Shanks (GAS) gang – based in Lambeth, South London.

The gang, one of the most dangerous in the capital, was responsible for the the shooting of five-year-old Thusha Kamaleswaran, who was left paralysed by the incident in her uncle’s shop in Stockwell, in 2011.

Det Ch Insp Tim Champion said: “It’s a London-based gang, but they’re extending their drugs network and finding new markets to ensure they get more money.

“They’ve got their tentacles into Home Counties and further afield because they want to expand the profit they can get.

The reason we target them is we still get the associated violence in London when they return.”

The Rochford arrest was one of 29 across the country within 24 hours, with others being held on suspicion of money laundering, possession with intent to supply, fraud and immigration offences.

The arrests were made in the Thomas Valley, Bedfordshire and Edinburgh, with search warrants executed by more than 700 officers led by the Trident Central Gangs Unit.

During the raids, about 300 rocks of crack cocaine, a large amount of heroin and about £5,000 in cash were seized.

Anyone with information about the gang, or those involved, can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.