'Eastern European gangster' arrested after two men stabbed to death in north London

Police were called to reports of a fight in Courtland Avenue (pictured) and later found a man's body. (Google)

Police have arrested a suspected eastern European gangster after the deaths of two men in north London on Thursday.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police launched a double murder investigation after the eastern European nationals were found with stab wounds near Scratchwood Park, Barnet.

Police were called shortly after 8:10pm to reports of a fight in Courtland Avenue and an injured 30-year-old man was found in the boot of a car shortly afterwards.

A 31-year-old man at the scene, initially taken to hospital with injuries, was later arrested on suspicion of murder, and remains in custody.

The second man, 35, was discovered with stab wounds in undergrowth in Hogg Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire, on Friday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The remote lane is around five miles from the road where the first man was found less than 24 hours earlier.

Officers are working to establish how long the body had been there, and whether his death occurred before or after the discovery in Barnet.

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Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Simon Stancombe said: “At these very early stages, we believe both the deceased men are eastern European males.

“While we retain an open mind as to a motive, we cannot rule out whether there might be a potential organised criminal element.

“We also believe that the two victims might have been known to each other.”

Investigators have asked any local residents who might have any information or footage to come forward.

DCI Stancombe added: “I am asking those residents who live in the vicinity of the crime scenes in Barnet and Elstree to think very carefully about anything suspicious you may have seen over the last few days, and to make contact with us immediately.

“It could be that you may have caught something via dashcam footage that could prove massively important.

“The slightest fragment of information could prove crucial.”