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Package sent to Portadown contained £130,000 of cocaine, court hears

Published 14/10/2015

Court told that customs had detected a package at Stansted airport which had been shipped in from Spain (File photograph)
Court told that customs had detected a package at Stansted airport which had been shipped in from Spain (File photograph)

A package intercepted at Stansted airport on its way from Spain to an address in County Armagh contained drugs valued at £130,000, a court heard on Wednesday.

Three men were arrested on Monday in Portadown as a result of the combined operation between the PSNI and the National Crime Association and at Craigavon Magistrates Court, two were refused bail while the third did apply to be released.

Kenny Hui Tan (53), Tandragee Road, Portadown, is charged with unlawful possession of herbal cannabis on October 12, being concerned in the supply of a class B drug and unlawful possession of cannabis.

Rong Zeng (41), Orangefield Close, Armagh, is accused of possession of criminal property on October 12 and being in the UK unlawfully in breach of a deportation order.

The third defendant, Cao Jiahuan (29), Clonavon Avenue, Portadown, is also charged with being in the UK illegally and unlawfully importing cannabis. He did not make an application for bail.

All three were remanded in custody to appear on videolink at Craigavon court on November 11.

A PSNI detective constable said that on October 12 in a joint operation with the NCA they went to an address at Clonavon Avenue in Portadown.

It concerned six and a half kilograms of drugs valued at £130,000.

He explained that customs had detected a package at Stansted airport which had been shipped in from Spain. It was due to be delivered to the Portadown address on October 12.

A search was carried out and Jiahuan was arrested. While police were at the address Tang arrived, saying he was going to visit a friend at that address.

A search revealed a black bin bag in the boot of his car. It contained vacuum packs which had remnants of cannabis in them.

At Tang’s address at the Tandragee Road police found Zeng who had between £3,000 and £4,000 in a pair of trousers belonging to him. He claimed he had won the money at roulette tables in Armagh.

Objecting to bail the detective alleged the accused were part of an organised international crime gang and there was a risk of flight.

He also suggested their investigations were in their infancy and there could be a risk of interference with witnesses or suspects.

An address was put forward for Zeng in Belfast but a woman contacted by police said he had not lived there for months.

A barrister representing Tang said he had living in this jurisdiction since 1997 and was employed part-time in a Chinese takeaway.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said that although Tang had a stake in the community his major concern was the black bag containing sealed bags that could be used to transport drugs.

He refused bail and remanded the accused in custody, saying they had the right to apply to the High Court.

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