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Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit, working with other agencies represented on the Organised Crime Task Force, have recovered a further quantity of drugs from a lorry stopped in the Belfast Harbour area.
The operation was carried out in partnership with HM Revenue & Customs and Belfast Harbour Police.
During the first stop and search, in the early hours of Saturday 12 February, Class A and B drugs, with an estimated street value of approximately £1.8 million, were recovered from a van inside the trailer.
Additional searches have now revealed an additional quantity of Class B drugs with an estimated value of around £1.14 million concealed within the frame of the trailer.
Detective Inspector Conor Sweeney said: “From this one lorry, we have recovered drugs with a combined value of almost £3 million. This is one of our largest single seizures.
“Every year, organised crime gangs try to smuggle illicit drugs into the country via our ports, and this is one of numerous similar interceptions as part of Operation Fusion targeting criminality of this nature.
“Through the concerted and targeted efforts of our detectives, alongside key law enforcement partners on the Organised Crime Task Force, we will continue to carry out operations to break the cycle of those who cause harm through the illegal importation and supply of drugs in Northern Ireland.
“This is just one example of this invaluable collaborative work, bringing the total street value of seizures, over a 14-month period, to almost £20 million.
“We remain committed to tackling the supply, use and harm caused by illegal drugs in Northern Ireland. The very simple reality is that drugs ruin lives and damage our communities. These criminals line their own pockets and live lavish lifestyles at the expense of others, leaving families and loved ones to deal with the inevitable devastation.
“I’m appealing to anyone with information, or concerns, about the illegal supply or use of drugs to contact us on 101.”
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Anyone who thinks they might have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs and would like to get help can visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info This also includes details of services available for individuals affected by someone else’s drinking and/or drug misuse.