Belfast Telegraph

Cannabis worth £5k found hidden in children's board game, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Cannabis worth £5,000 was sent to Northern Ireland from Canada hidden inside a children's board game, the High Court heard.

Prosecutors also claimed the drug seizure made at a courier service depot in Co Antrim last week may be linked to wider smuggling attempts.

Details emerged as a man allegedly linked to the parcel mounted an application for bail on Wednesday.

Graham Hayden, a 23-year-old said to be from the Tallaght area of Dublin, faces charges of importing cannabis and attempted possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply.

Police seized a package from the UPS depot in Mallusk, just outside north Belfast, after being alerted on July 27.

Kate McKay, prosecuting, revealed: "It contained a children's board game and concealed within it was 500g of suspected cannabis."

The drugs, with an estimated street value of £5,000, are believed to have been sent from Canada, she added.

Hayden and a female co-accused were arrested after officers were alerted to man and woman arriving at the UPS premises in a car.

A torn delivery docket, 4,700 euros and two phones were recovered from the vehicle, the court heard.

Mrs McKay claimed the evidence indicated an operation involving potentially other packages.

Another parcel confiscated by the National Crime Agency in London is also allegedly linked, according to the prosecutor.

Aaron Thompson, defending, said his client's parents had travelled from Kildare for the court hearing in a state of astonishment.

"They have been very shocked with some of the points raised in relation to the investigation, they are astounded by that," he told the court.

Mr Justice Colton suggested efforts should be made to locate a potential bail address for Hayden in Northern Ireland.

Adjourning the application, the judge made clear he had reached no decision on whether the accused can be released from custody.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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