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Police are still verifying the pictures, which are reported to be original works by L.S. Lowry stolen from the home of art dealer Ivan Aird in 2007 and worth over £1.5m.

The men were arrested as part of an investigation targeted at serious and organised crime and, as well as the paintings, drugs and cash were also seized after police raided the house on July 26.

Malcolm Shields, 41, from Arncliffe Road, Halewood, and Kevin Marlow, 32, of no fixed abode, were charged with handling stolen goods and remanded in custody, while Erin Edwards, 32, also of Arncliffe Road, Halewood, was charged with possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs.

The paintings being checked are said to include Tanker Entering the Tyne and The Viaduct, valued at £600,000 and £700,000 respectively, as well as three pencil drawings.