06/12/2019

£90k Suspected Cannabis Seized In Craigavon

Officers from the PSNI's Paramilitary Crime Task Force have seized a significant amount of suspected cannabis amid investigations linked to the South East Antrim UDA.

The plants, a mixture of mature plants and seedlings, are valued at around £90,000. They were discovered during a search of vacant licensed premises and two residential properties in Carrickfergus on Thursday 05 December.

Police have urged those involved in the sale and supply of illegal drugs to consider how the money they hand over may be funding paramiltary organisations.

Detective Chief Superintendent Rachel Shields said: "The substantial number of cannabis plants seized demonstrates that members of South East Antrim UDA are steeped in drugs criminality. Ironically and hypocritically, the same people involved in the supply of cannabis and other drugs within the Carrickfergus community, are the very people carrying out paramilitary style attacks on drugs dealers within the area.
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"Today the PCTF has prevented hundreds of cannabis plants from being cultivated and circulated in the area and having the potential to harm local people. Buying and using cannabis, even on a casual or recreational basis, can cause huge damage to people and communities.

"The facts are that illegal drugs can kill, they ruin lives, and they fund organised crime gangs who are responsible for intimidation and violence within our communities. We want people to consider when they hand over their money to a drug dealer, where that money goes and what it's used for; that it's not being invested for the good of the community."

Detective Chief Superintendent Shields continued: "Today's seizure is another step in our ongoing commitment to preventing dangerous drugs from ending up in local communities and also frustrating the criminal activities of paramilitaries living within them.

"Removing these illegal substances from our streets today is an important step in making Northern Ireland a hostile environment for those involved in drug dealing within our communities. We will continue to work hard to identify them, arrest them and bring them before the courts."

Anyone with information on the sale and supply of drugs or those involved in paramilitaries is urged to get in touch on non-emergency line 101.



(JG/CM)

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