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Four held after cash and luxury cars seized in Armagh organised crime swoop

Published 14/07/2016

Carrier bags of cash.
Carrier bags of cash.
Watches seized. PSNI
Police said they believe the operation has struck a major blow to the activities of an organised gang involved in serious drugs criminality in Northern Ireland

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and drugs offences after a major operation in Armagh.

Around £170,000 in cash, high-end designer watches and luxury cars were seized when detectives swooped on a suspected organised crime gang involved in illegal drugs supply and other serious criminality.

The proactive policing operation began when officers forcibly stopped a Transit van in Killylea Road on Wednesday, and a number of follow-up house searches were then carried out.

Detective Inspector Tom McClure said: "We believe this operation has struck a major blow to the activities of an organised gang involved in serious drugs criminality in Northern Ireland.

"PSNI Reactive and Organised Crime Branch is committed to making Northern Ireland a hostile environment for those in our community who are involved in serious drugs criminality.

"We will seek to identify them, disrupt their activities, arrest them and place them before the courts. We will also seek to ensure that they do not derive any material benefit from their illegal activities."

Inside the van officers discovered a package containing approximately £10,000 cash. The driver, a 38-year-old man, was arrested.

During a subsequent search at a house in Salters Grange Road, police seized a Mercedes S63 AMG car, a BMW X5 Jeep and documentation.

A second suspect, a 31-year-old man, was arrested at a filling station in Cathedral Road at around 4.30pm.

During a follow-up search at an address in Callan Crescent, officers located a sum of cash estimated to be in the region of £160,000 concealed in the living room of the property. Four extremely high-end designer watches were also seized along with a Taser stun gun.

Mr McClure said: "Police believe the cash and jewellery to be the proceeds of major drugs criminality."

Two other people, a 58-year-old man and a woman aged 56 who were present at the Callan Crescent address, were also arrested.

All four individuals remained in custody on Thursday morning and will be questioned on suspicion of a number of offences including possessing, concealing and converting criminal property as well as drugs supply offences.

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