04/08/2022

Man Arrested And Puppies Seized In Organised Crime Investigation

A 44-year-old man has been arrested and seized 57 puppies, three adult dogs and one cat at Belfast Harbour Estate in an operation investigating organised crime.

Following the operation, Organised Crime Unit Detective Inspector Conor Sweeney said: "The male was arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including Fraud by False Representation and Possession of Articles for Use in Fraud. A quantity of cash was also seized. He remains in custody helping with ongoing enquiries.

"The puppies, which are of assorted breeds including Golden Retriever, Cockapoo, Miniature Terrier, French Bull dog, American Bull dog, Cocker Spaniel, Dachsunds and Roan Spaniel are being kept and cared for and are being examined by a vet.

"We suspect many of the dogs had been illegally imported into Northern Ireland from Republic of Ireland for onward sale within England and Scotland.
News Image
"Police are absolutely committed to tackling the smuggling of illegal commodities through Northern Ireland’s ports. Most recent seizures by the Organised Crime Unit have been in relation to illegal drugs. However, as this operation has shown, drugs are not the only items being traded illegally.

"Smuggling is often conducted by sophisticated cross-border organised criminal groups. Such groups will not discriminate when it comes to the commodity being smuggled – should that be drugs, cigarettes, people, or in this case, animals.

"I use the word 'commodity' as this is how crime gangs view the people and animals they smuggle – as nothing but commodities which they can exploit to line their own pockets.

"Those involved in Puppy smuggling do not care about the horrendous impact this type of criminal activity can have both on the animals and on the victims who innocently buy them as family pets.

"If anyone has information about any illegal activity, please contact police on 101. Alternatively, you can submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/."

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

10 February 2022
'We Must Ensure Crime Does Not Pay' - Justice Minister
We need to ensure that serious organised crime does not pay, the Justice Minister Naomi Long has said during her presentation at the PSNI Cyber Crime Centre.
27 August 2021
Funding Available For Community Crime Prevention Groups
The Department of Justice is inviting applications for the Assets Recovery Community Scheme for funding aimed at preventing crime. Voluntary and community sector organisations, registered charities, and statutory bodies delivering projects in community settings in Northern Ireland are all eligible to apply for the funding.
09 August 2021
Anonymous Social Media Posts Are Not The Way To Deal With Crime - SF
Anonymous social media posts are not the way to deal with crime, Sinn Féin MP Mickey Brady has said, urging anyone with information on illegal drug dealing and criminality to bring it to the PSNI.
13 July 2022
Burning Of Effigies Described As A 'Hate Crime'
The burning of effigies of a number of political leaders has been described as a "hate crime" by Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly. The effigies included First Minister Michelle O'Neill, party leader Mary Lou McDonald and other political figures. He said: "Sinn Féin has reported a number of hate crimes to the PSNI related to bonfires.
14 June 2022
Justice Minister Welcomes New Victims Of Crime Commissioner
Justice Minister Naomi Long has welcomed the appointment of Geraldine Hanna into her new role as Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime for Northern Ireland. Ms Hanna takes up the office for a term of three years, with the potential for an extension of up to one year.