PSNI seizes £12m drugs in international operation

Three people have been arrested and drugs worth about £12 million have been seized following operations into organised crime, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said.

Apr 1, 2021
By Tony Thompson

Suspected Class A and B drugs have been seized following a series of operations in which detectives from the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit worked alongside the National Crime Agency (NCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and police colleagues in Belgium.

On March 30, PSNI detectives seized suspected herbal cannabis during a search at a haulage yard in Newry. One man, aged 34, has been arrested and is assisting police with their enquiries.

In a separate investigation into the importation of Class A drugs, detectives from the Organised Crime Unit have been liaising with the NCA and colleagues from the Belgian Police as part of an ongoing investigation into a Northern Ireland-based organised crime group believed to be operating on an international scale.

On Friday, March 26, Belgian authorities seized a significant quantity of suspected cocaine during a vehicle search. The following morning two men were arrested by PSNI officers in the Belfast area in respect of this investigation and have been assisting police with their inquiries. They are currently on police bail as the investigation into this criminality continues.

Head of the PSNI’s Criminal Investigation Branch, Detective Chief Superintendent John McVea, said: “The cannabis seizure in Newry is the largest seizure to date in Northern Ireland. There is no doubt that by taking these drugs off the streets of Northern Ireland we have significantly impacted the funding stream of this organised crime gang.

“We will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues in the Organised Crime Task Force to identify, disrupt, dismantle and frustrate organised crime gangs, not only in Northern Ireland, but across Europe.”

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