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PSNI Seize Record £10 Million Cocaine Cache Disguised in Meat Products

by | Dec 15, 2023

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has seized an estimated £10 million of suspected Class A drugs.

Newry, Mourne & Down District Commander Superintendent Norman Haslett said: “Slieve Gullion Neighbourhood Policing Team officers, whilst on routine patrol in the Jonesborough area of South Armagh on Monday evening, 11th December had reason to stop a suspicious lorry.

“A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a large quantity of suspected cocaine concealed within boxes containing frozen meat products, worth an estimated street value of £10 million.

“A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a number of driving-related offences.

“He has since been released on police bail to allow for further enquiries as the investigation continues.

“This is the largest seizure of suspected cocaine in Northern Ireland by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

“The sophistication of the concealment method and sheer quantity of the drugs gives an indication of the scale of criminality involved.

“I believe that this significant quantity of drugs would have been distributed and sold in local communities across Northern Ireland bringing untold harm.

“Organised crime groups involved in this activity profit hugely from the sale of these harmful drugs and have no care for the destruction and harm they cause to people’s lives.

“This is an example of effective community based Neighbourhood policing at its best. As District Commander I am incredibly proud of my team who have removed a very significant amount of illegal and harmful drugs from our streets.”

Organised Crime Branch has now commenced a robust investigation. Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Hill said. “The investigation is at an early stage and we making a specific appeal to anyone who noticed a maroon-coloured Iveco Eurocargo lorry with the registration number LK08 LHO travelling within the South Armagh area, particularly in the wider Jonesborough and Keady areas to make contact with police.

“Please review any dash-cam or CCTV footage that you think you may have of this vehicle – this information could help our investigation greatly.

“The Police Service, under Operation Dealbreaker, is actively committed to removing drugs from our streets, and we will continue to proactively investigate and carry out searches to disrupt this activity, and those involved in the drugs trade.

“Anyone tempted to become involved in illegal drugs should be under no illusion; we will seek to identify them, arrest them and place them before the courts. We will robustly investigate this seizure and enquiries are ongoing to identify those involved in facilitating and organising this importation.

“The Police Service is seizing more drugs and arresting more people for drugs offences, with a 10 per cent increase on both arrests and seizures across the Police Service in the last year.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone with any information about suspected drug dealing in their area to call the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, information can also be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

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