12/03/2007

Bangor man jailed after extradition on drugs charges

A Bangor man was jailed for four and a half years at Belfast Crown Court today following his extradition from Spain on HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and PSNI warrants.

Michael Thomas Francis Cahillane, 41 had been living abroad ever since he absconded in 1990, when facing PSNI fraud charges. He was extradited from Spain in September 2006 to stand trial on two counts of being knowingly concerned in the importation of cannabis resin. These charges dated back to 1997.

Two seizures of cannabis resin totalling nearly 59 kilograms were made in the Bangor area in March and October 1997 as a result of joint operations between HMRC and police. Fingerprints found on the drug packages and wrappings were later identified as Cahillane’s.

HMRC Head of Investigation Northern Ireland, Anne-Marie Gordon said: “We are pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of these charges and the message it sends out to criminals that we will take all necessary measures to bring them before the courts.

"HM Revenue & Customs continue to play a key role in the fight to stop drugs entering the UK and to reduce the associated harm to our communities. We aim to protect society from this activity wherever we detect it, at the borders or inland.

“In line with the UK Government’s drugs strategy, we work with our partners at home and abroad to reduce the availability of Class A drugs, while continuing to detect and prosecute smugglers of other illegal drugs such as cannabis.

“Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drugs smuggling should call Customs Confidential on 0800 59 5000."

Three other men arrested at the time subsequently served sentences of three, five, and four and a half years respectively, for their part in the smuggling attempt.

His Honour Judge Harte said: “You were an important cog in the enterprise and the fingerprint evidence showed you played an active part.”

(JM/SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 May 2015
Two Arrested Over Ongoing Investigation Into Cannabis Supply From Italy
Two people have been arrested in England as part of an ongoing investigation into cannabis supply from Italy. A man, 35, and a woman, 34, were arrested in the Milton Keynes area this morning, Thursday, on suspicion of drugs trafficking and money laundering offences. They are being brought to Belfast to be interviewed by the police.
13 May 2015
Police Seize Cannabis Worth Over £400,000 In Magherafelt
Police have arrested two men following a cannabis seizure in Magherafelt, L'Derry. It is believed to have a street value of more than £400,000. The drugs were found at Carricknakielt on Tuesday. The arrested men, one of whom is thought to be in his 30s, the other in his 50s, have both been taken to Antrim Police Station for questioning.
29 January 2003
Six million cigarettes seized in Co Tyrone
Customs in a joint operation with PSNI scored a major success against cigarette smugglers in Co Tyrone yesterday. Officers intercepted a shipment of around 6 million cigarettes housed in an abandoned warehouse site near Coalisland.
14 May 2015
Two Charged Over Cannabis Seizure In Magherafelt
Two men have been charged in connection with a cannabis seizure, worth over £400,000, in Magherafelt on Tuesday. The men, aged 40 and 50, have been charged with a range of offences including cultivating cannabis, possession of class B drugs and possession of class B drugs with intent to supply as well as the offence of abstracting electricity.
04 December 2007
Derry Man Faces Drugs Trial
A police search of a Londonderry man's home last year has led to a court appearance on drugs charges. A 26-year-old computer technician from the Bogside area of Derry has admitted being in possession of a quantity of crystal ecstasy. The drugs were found in his home by the police last year.
21 May 2015
Two Women Arrested Following Drugs Seizure
Two 23 year-old-women have been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences in Newry. Police carried out a planned search of a house in the Richmond Court area on 20 May. A quantity of cash and drugs in tablet, liquid, powder and resin form were seized.
01 April 2004
Two South African men jailed for cannabis smuggling
Following Customs operations in September last year, two South African nationals have been found guilty at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday of the illegal importation of cannabis. Jacobus Frederick Engelbrecht, 24, was stopped by Customs officers at Belfast City Airport, when he arrived from Johannesburg via Heathrow in September 2003.
01 December 2006
Man due in court facing drugs charges
A 28-year-old man is due to appear in court charged with possession of a Class C drug with intent to supply. The man is also charged with being concerned with the supply of a Class C drug. He is expected to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court later today.
22 February 2006
Three appear in court on drugs trafficking charges
Three people have appeared in Londonderry Magistrates Court after cocaine with a street value of half a million pounds was seized in County Londonderry on Monday. Two men and a woman, all faced charges relating to being involved with drugs trafficking. All three have denied the charges.
20 February 2004
Adair son appears in court over drugs charges
The son of leading loyalist Johnny Adair has pleaded guilty to a number of drugs charges in England. Jonathon Adair, 19, appeared before Bolton Crown Court on Friday charged with conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
14 October 2002
Six in court over drugs charges
Six people have appeared before North Antrim Magistrates today charged with drugs trafficking offences. The five adults and one juvenile were arrested on Friday following a police raid on a flat in Eglantine Street, Portrush, Co Londonderry.
22 January 2003
South African man in custody after cannabis seizure
A South African national has been remanded in custody following a cannabis seizure at Belfast International Airport worth an estimated £53,000. Gabriel Jacobus Frederick Erasmus, 48, appeared at Belfast Laganside Courts yesterday charged with illegally importing prohibited substances. Mr Erasmus was remanded in custody until January 28.
28 January 2011
Cigarette Smugglers 'Get A Kicking'
Thousands of cigarettes posted to Northern Ireland from China have been uncovered hidden inside protective pads used by kickboxers. The find was just the latest such haul having been recovered covered with tin foil and padding. The cigarettes were then shrink-wrapped in an attempt to evade detection.
14 November 2002
One in four of NI's secondary pupils have tried drugs
A report published today by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has revealed that one-in-three secondary school pupils reported having been offered drugs and one in four had tried or used an illicit drug on at least one occasion.
13 December 2013
Man Convicted On Drugs Charges
A 50-year-old man has been convicted for possession of £1m worth of cannabis with intent to supply. Matthew Tyrie, from Greenisland, was found guilty by a jury at Craigavon Crown Court.