Four men and women arrested during a major crackdown on the counterfeit cigarette trade in the North West will appear in court next week.
Police in Coleraine and Limavady yesterday arrested nine people as part of a major intelligence-led operation against a suspected dissident republican counterfeit cigarette operation.
Detectives raided 16 properties in Limavady and Coleraine in the early hours, arresting six men and three women.
They also seized £21,000 in cash, a large quantity of counterfeit cigarettes and a firearm.
A police spokesman said the operation was part of a long-running operation into the sale and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes.
However, the North West Telegraph understands the operation is targeting criminal activity among dissident republicans.
Two women, aged 44 and 24, will appear in court next week
The 44-year-old faces eight charges relating to counterfeit and contraband cigarettes and will appear at Limavady Magistrates Court on December 20, while the 24-year-old is charged with possession of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes and will appear at Dungannon Magistrates Court on December 22.
A third woman and two men arrested in the police operation have been released pending the preparation of police reports to the Public Prosecution Service.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old man from Dungiven is expected to appear at Limavady Magistrates Court on December 20, charged with the possession of a firearm.
And a 43-year-old man from Coleraine is expected to appear at North Antrim Magistrates Court on January 3 charged with the offences of selling and distributing counterfeit and contraband cigarettes.
A third man has been released pending the preparation of a police report for the PPS.
One other man arrested in the operation remains in custody.