Belfast Telegraph

Six held after PSNI swoops on organised crime gangs

By Staff Reporter

Detectives have seized a large diamond, luxury cars and Rolex watches in a massive crackdown on organised crime in Northern Ireland.

Five men and a woman were arrested in the two-day operation to tackle cocaine dealing, cannabis supply and money laundering across the province, which involved 20 searches.

More than 400 police officers were involved in the raids in Londonderry, Strabane, Belfast, Glenavy, Aughgnacloy and Dungannon.

Suspected class A and B drugs were seized.

Officers also confiscated around £200,000 of high value luxury items, including Rolex, Tag Heuer and Bulgari watches, a large diamond and other jewellery, more than £9,000 in cash, luxury motor vehicles, and an electro-shock device.

A large quantity of financial documents, as well as credit cards, mobile phones and computers were also recovered.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tim Mairs, head of the PSNI's Reactive and Organised Crime Branch, said: "This was an extensive search and arrest operation into the suspected supply of large quantities of class A and B controlled drugs - namely cocaine and herbal cannabis - into and throughout Northern Ireland.

"It also focused on suspected large-scale money laundering.

"The operation, which involved working closely with our colleagues in An Garda Siochana, demonstrates PSNI's commitment to tackling those involved in organised crime and drugs supply in Northern Ireland.

"Police will continue to take robust action against those believed to be involved in organised criminal activity, particularly those involved in the supply of drugs, as well as street-level drug dealers."

During the two-day operation detectives conducted searches around the province and made a number of arrests.

In Derry a 47-year-old man was detained on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs and money laundering; a 35-year-old woman on suspicion of money laundering; a 41-year-old man on suspicion of money laundering and mortgage fraud, and a 29-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

In Dungannon, a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class B controlled drugs and money laundering. He has now been charged with these offences.

In Belfast a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

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