Two men charged over cannabis seizure worth €1.5 million

Co Down drugs haul may be one of Northern Ireland’s largest seizures, says PSNI

Police in Northern Ireland believe the  drugs seizure may be one of largest ever hauls of herbal cannabis in the jurisdiction.  File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Police in Northern Ireland believe the drugs seizure may be one of largest ever hauls of herbal cannabis in the jurisdiction. File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

 

Two men have been charged over what police believe may be one of the largest ever hauls of cannabis in Northern Ireland.

A quantity of herbal cannabis, estimated to be worth about €1.48 million (£1.3 million), was intercepted in Co Down on Friday in a cross-border operation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), AGS and Irish customs officials.

Five people, three men (aged 72, 32 and 37) and two women (both aged 68), were arrested on Friday. A sixth person, a 42-year-old woman, was arrested on Saturday.

The PSNI have said the two men aged 32 and 37 have since been charged with fraudulently importing Class B controlled drugs, possession of Class B controlled drugs and possession of Class B controlled drugs with intent to supply.

They are due to appear at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Monday, April 2nd.

The other people who were arrested have been released on bail.

PSNI Det Supt Bobby Singleton said: “It is the largest seizure for some time and we are delighted to have been able to take these drugs out of circulation, in collaboration with our partner agencies.”

He said the drugs were found hidden inside an industrial-sized fuel tank on a shipping pallet at a property in Dromore, Co Down. A number of follow up searches and enquiries were subsequently carried out at other locations.

Supt Singleton said: “Cannabis can ruin lives and line the pockets of organised criminals. The combined hard work and dedication of the Task Force has gone a long way in helping us achieve our shared goal of keeping people safe.”

He said the police would continue to investigate but believed the drugs were linked to the activities of an organised crime group operating in Northern Ireland.

The PSNI thanked An Garda Síochána and Revenue Commissioners for their assistance.