A large quantity of suspected cannabis, worth an estimated street value in excess of £1 million, has been seized from a lorry in Larne Harbour.
The lorry was stopped shortly after 1am on Tuesday morning by detectives from the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), working as part of the joint agency Organised Crime Task Force alongside Larne Local Policing Team.
Detective Inspector Conor Sweeney said: “The lorry and trailer have also been seized for further examination.
“A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class B controlled drug with intent to supply. He remains in police custody at this time.”
Detective Inspector Sweeney continued: “This search, seizure and arrest was conducted as part of the multi-agency approach to target criminality within the haulage industry and our ongoing commitment to address the criminality linked to drug importation, supply and use that often results in drug debts, drug addiction and drug related deaths within our communities.”
To date, the PSNI has seized over one metric tonne of herbal cannabis being brought into Northern Ireland by such method, representing a street value of over £15 million.
“For anyone who thinks the illegal distribution of cannabis is not a big deal, just imagine for a second the damage an organised crime group could and would cause with £15 million worth of resources at their disposal,” said Detective Inspector Sweeney.
“I have no doubt this was destined for the streets of Northern Ireland on the run up to Christmas with the potential for unimaginable harm and the funding of wider criminality.
“Through Operation DEALBREAKER, and the multi-agency efforts of the Organised Crime Task Force, we will continue to carry out operations, to break the cycle of those who seek to cause harm through the illegal importation and supply of drugs in Northern Ireland, and to dismantle the organised criminals who profit from this incredibly harmful activity.”