Cocaine haul suspect denied bail
Police seized a £100,000 cocaine haul allegedly smuggled in from England after mounting surveillance on both sides of the Irish Sea, the High Court has heard.
The drugs were recovered in Co Down in an operation involving National Crime Agency officers, who monitored a meeting between two suspects in Liverpool, prosecutors revealed.
Details emerged as bail was refused to a Belfast man accused of being in charge of a gang behind the importation.
Martin Young (38), of Areema Drive in the Dunmurry area, faces charges of importing, possessing and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
He was arrested last month along with up to four other men suspected in the smuggling plot.
Police seized 1.5 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated street value of £100,000, after stopping a Volkswagen Golf driven by a co-accused on the A1 near Newry on November 3. Weeks earlier Young had withdrawn £34,000 in cash from his bank account, according to prosecution barrister Conor Maguire.
It was claimed that this money was taken by a third man to an alleged drug supplier in Liverpool.
It was disclosed that William Hill had confirmed Young placed a football bet on October 17, which won him £35,750.
However, Mr Justice Stephens refused bail, citing the risk of re-offending.