Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

14 years in jail for drugs smuggler

Police believe the cannabis was destined for Northern Ireland
Police believe the cannabis was destined for Northern Ireland

A lorry driver from Northern Ireland has been jailed for 14 years in Greece after being convicted for smuggling herbal cannabis worth £1 million, police have said.

Andrew Doherty, 38, of Sycamore Avenue in Sion Mills in County Tyrone, was the driver of a vehicle stopped in north western Greece which contained 125 kilograms (275lb) of the drugs which police believe was destined for Northern Ireland.

The seizure was made in November 2011 in an international operation led by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The investigation included colleagues in the Republic of Ireland's An Garda Siochana, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Europol and Customs and Coastguard agencies in Greece.

Detective Chief Inspector Todd Clements, from PSNI Organised Crime Branch, said: "We welcome this substantial sentence imposed on an individual involved in drugs supply.

"Drugs pose an international threat to local communities in Northern Ireland and Organised Crime Branch is committed to working with agencies across the world to ensure Northern Ireland is a safer place.

"Our inquiries into this seizure will continue."

The lorry was intercepted in Igoumenitsa, a coastal city in north western Greece.

On Friday Doherty appeared before an Athens court, where he was sentenced to 14 years in jail. A Greek was also jailed by the same court.

A number of other suspects were arrested at the time of the seizure, which included a further 100 kilos (220lb) of herbal cannabis taken separately from a warehouse in Greece.

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