A Confiscation Order to the value of £138,487.55 was granted against two defendants at Newry Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday 19th April.

In March 2021, Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigated a report of a suspicious vehicle in the Stranmillis area of south Belfast. Follow up searches resulted in the discovery of a quantity of Class B controlled drugs and a quantity of cash.

A 31-year-old man and 35-year-old woman were arrested at the time and have subsequently pleaded guilty to the offences of possession of counterfeit currency, possession of criminal property, possession with intent to supply controlled drugs and being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs in May 2022. The 35 year old woman was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for one year; the 31 year old man has not yet been sentenced.

The Police Service’s Assets Confiscation Enforcement Team in the Economic Crime Unit started restraint and confiscations proceedings.

As a result of the proceedings, at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday, the judge allowed the defendants three months to pay and ruled they will serve five years imprisonment if they fail to pay.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson of Economic Crime Unit said: “This is an excellent result and an example of how a car acting suspiciously led to a drugs investigation and confiscation of a significant amount of money which will disrupt the criminal lifestyle of organise crime gangs.”

“Anyone with any concerns about drugs or other suspected criminality in their local area should contact Police on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org