Four Men Charged Over £1m Cannabis Haul

Four men have been charged after the police seized an estimated £1million worth of cannabis on Wednesday 09 January.

The men, aged 38, 29, 29 and 19 face a number of drug-related offences after being held at Musgrave PSNI station yesterday.

Three are believed to be from south-east Asia and the fourth from North Africa.

In a proactive operation, the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch searched two properties in the Shore Road area of north Belfast and the Springfield road in the west of the city.

Two vehicles were also stopped on the M2 heading Northbound, near the Moneynick junction.

Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton said he believed the haul of 50kg of herbal cannabis was linked to a south-east Asian Triad gang operating in Belfast.

Organised crime gangs make huge amounts of money from this illegal trade," he said.

"Some people do think that buying cannabis is harmless, but that's simply not the case. The reality is that the abuse of cannabis can damage your physical and mental health.

"Others are better placed to comment on that, but it's a fact that cannabis remains the most used drug by persons in Northern Ireland in treatment for drug addiction."
News Image
Mr Singleton added that the money spent on cannabis encouraged the growth of criminal gangs engaged in violence and intimidation, as well as other crimes like human trafficking.

Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey has welcomed the drug seizure.

"News that almost £1 million of illegal drugs were seized by the PSNI in a number of searches across Belfast is to be welcomed," the west Belfast MP said.

"Drugs cause misery in our communities and have blighted many lives. The fact that these drugs will not find their way into the illegal supply chain is good news. 

"I would encourage anyone with information on the supply of illegal drugs to bring it forward to the PSNI."

In addition, SDLP councillor Paul Musker cautiously welcomed the news but expressed concern at such a substantial amount of drugs.

He commented: "The plight of drug use and distribution in our community is on the rise; its effects destroying lives and families, with addiction services struggling to cope with the sheer number of those requesting help."

The PSNI pledged to continue to investigate those who profit from the "misery and harm" inflicted by the supply and use of illegal drugs, and appealed to anyone with information on the use of illicit substances in their area to contact them on non-emergency line 101.


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

22 March 2019
Ongoing Police Operation Targets East Belfast UVF
Six people have been arrested as part of what police have described as a "significant operation" targeting the east Belfast UVF. Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force carried out six raids in the Greater Belfast area this morning, Friday 22 March. They said it was related to the "criminal activities of the east Belfast UVF".
19 March 2019
Body Found In Search For Missing Belfast Woman
A body has been recovered from the water in County Louth in the search for missing Belfast woman Ruth Maguire. The 30-year-old, who had been living in Newcastle, County Down, went missing from a hen party in Carlingford at around 11.30pm on Saturday evening, 16 March.
30 July 2014
Man Arrested After Drug Seizure In North Belfast
Police have arrested a man in connection with a drug seizure in north Belfast. Police say that suspected cocaine and herbal cannabis, worth an estimated £40,000, was recovered from a house in Jamaica Street in the Ardoyne area. A 23-year-old man was arrested at the scene on possession of drugs with intent to supply.
21 March 2019
PSNI To Make Crimestopper Appeal Over Jim Donegan's Murder
The PSNI is set to make an appeal for information on Crimewatch this evening, Thursday 21 March, regarding the murder of Jim Donegan in west Belfast last December. The 43-year-old was murdered as he sat in his car outside a school on the Glen Road on Tuesday 04 December.
09 June 2014
400 Cannabis Plants Seized In West Belfast
400 cannabis plants have been seized during a police operation in west Belfast at the weekend. The plants were seized on Sunday after officers raided the cannabis factory in the Broadway area as part of a planned search.