10/01/2019

Four Arrested In £1M Drug Bust

Four men have been arrested following a seizure of cannabis worth £1million by the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch.

Detectives discovered the drugs during searches of two properties in north and west Belfast on Wednesday 09 January, and believe it is connected to the operations of a crime gang from South East Asia.

Four men aged 38, 29, 29 and 19 were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences in relation to the supply of the substance. They remain in custody at Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

Speaking about the operation, Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton said: "Yesterday detectives from PSNI's Organised Crime Unit, assisted by their colleagues across PSNI, searched two properties in the Shore Road area of North Belfast and the Springfield Road area of West Belfast as part of a proactive operation into the supply of illegal drugs. Two vehicles were also stopped on the M2 heading North Bound, near the Moneynick junction.

"Two men were arrested in the property on the Shore Road area on suspicion of the importation and supply of these drugs. A further two men were arrested in a vehicle on the M2 on suspicion of supply of these drugs and a number of immigration offences. The net result of these interventions was the recovery of Herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of just under £1 million.
News Image
"This is another significant haul of drugs, which is linked to our previous successes against a South East Asian Organised Crime Gang operating in Northern Ireland. We believe this organised crime gang is Triad linked.

"Whilst there will continue to be debate within society on the legalisation of cannabis it remains a controlled drug and is illegal to possess. Organised crime gangs like this group make huge amounts of money from its illegal trade. Some people think that buying and using cannabis is harmless but that’s simply not the case.

"Use of cannabis itself can damage your physical and mental health. Cannabis remains the most used drug by persons in treatment in Northern Ireland for drug addiction. The money people spend on it promotes and encourages the growth of these gangs who not only use violence and intimidation to maintain their control in our communities but are also involved in other organised crime like human trafficking."

DS Singleton added that the PSNI will continue to investigate those who profit from the "misery and harm" inflicted by the supply of illegal drugs.

He also appealed to the public to speak out if they have any information regarding drugs in their area, by calling the non-emergency line 101.

Alternatively, information can be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous.



(JG/CM)

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

15 January 2018
Property Seized In Newtownabbey By Paramilitary Task Force
Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Taskforce have seized a property in Newtownabbey having obtained a Property Freezing Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. This is the first use of such powers by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.
21 March 2014
Police Seize £900k Cannabis
A haul of herbal cannabis estimated to be worth £900k has been seized during police raids in south Belfast. The properties were searched by the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch on Wednesday. Cannabis worth £500k along with other drugs paraphernalia were discovered by police at a house on Rugby Avenue, in the 'Holyland' university area.
11 October 2006
Two men arrested in £18m cannabis seizure
Two men have been arrested after police made their biggest ever seizure of cannabis in Northern Ireland yesterday. Three tonnes of the drug, with an estimated street value of £18m, were found at premises in Newtownards, County Down, during a joint operation by the PSNI and officers from the Revenue and Customs Service.
28 November 2016
Operation Torus Seizes Drugs Worth More Than £3 Million
Drugs worth almost £3.4 million have been seized by police between 05 September and 31 October in a campaign targeting street-level drug dealing across NI. During Operation Torus, police officers in Districts and in Reactive and Organised Crime Branch delivered the following outcomes: • Seized £3.
17 December 2010
Many Arrests In Gardaí Drugs Raids
A total of 45 people have been arrested in the past 48 hours in Gardaí a crackdown on the sale and supply of heroin and 'crack' cocaine in the Dublin region. The operation, which involved Garda drug units from Kevin Street, Pearse Street and Store Street stations, resulted in 150 charges being brought, according to Gardaí this morning.