THOUSANDS of pounds was found in carrier bags when police stopped two cars on North Yorkshire's roads.

A BMW M1 was stopped by officers from North Yorkshire Police's Road Crime Team just before 5pm on Monday on the A1 close to Bramham, and another vehicle was stopped on the A1 at about 3.10pm on Wednesday near Catterick, police have revealed.

The driver of the BMW, a 35-year-old man from Leeds, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and later released on bail.

A search of the second vehicle found a carrier bag containing about £10,000 and a small amount of Class B drugs.

The two men in the vehicle, both 22 and from Stockton on Tees, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering. Both have been released on bail.

A police spokesman said it was possible that the seizure of the large quantities of cash in the two incidents "would cause disruption to cross-border criminal activities", and the stops, which were carried out as part of Operation Hawk, "were an effective way to tackle travelling criminals, and organised crime”.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "Operation Hawk was established to protect the communities of North Yorkshire from the threat of criminals coming into the county from the surrounding areas. We have numerous resources carrying out regular and targeted patrols close to our borders to keep an eye out for suspected offenders who are trying to get into our area to commit crime.

"Since the operation began we have built up a picture of intelligence which allows us to target certain people and vehicles which we suspect are linked to crime. The information we have available to us means that we know when potential offenders are here and gives us the opportunity to arrest them before they make it back over the border."