23/01/2015

Two Arrested Over Cocaine Find

Police have shut down a suspected cocaine factory and arrested two people, as well as seizing cash and a number of vehicles during an overnight operation in the Newtownabbey area.

The move followed planned searches in the Ballyhenry and Dalewood areas of Newtownabbey on January 21 and 22. Cocaine with a criminal value of £600,000 was seized, along with £300,000 cash.

Other items seized included an imitation firearm, 30 mobile phones, amphetamines and drugs paraphernalia including a suspected cocaine press and steroids. Three Mercedes AMG cars were also seized as part of this investigation.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of six offences: possession of a class A controlled drug, possession of a class B controlled drug, possession of a class C controlled drug, and possession of a class A, B and C controlled drug with intent to supply.

A 31-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of 9 offences: conspiracy to supply a class A, B and C controlled drug and possessing criminal property.

Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus PSNI Area Commander T/Supt Stephen Reid said: "The D District Tactical Crime Team responded to information they had received from the public, and immediately launched an operation to shut down this suspected criminal enterprise. This is a very substantial haul in which three luxury cars were seized on the suspicion that they were purchased with the proceeds of crime. This is a prime example of PSNI officers keeping people safe."

Alliance Newtownabbey Councillor John Blair said: "I would like to congratulate the Police on a successful operation which has resulted in a large amount of cocaine being taken off our streets. These drugs can have a devastating impact on our community and I welcome the Police's work to combat the drug trade.

"I hope that the actions of the Police will have disrupted the activities of these criminal gangs. It shows what can be achieved with the public's co-operation.

"We must do all that is possible to take more drugs off our streets, so I would urge anybody with any information about the illegal drugs trade to contact the Police or the Crimestoppers charity."

(IT/CD)

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