Belfast Telegraph

Man to stand trial accused of involvement in cannabis drug smuggling plot

By Alan Erwin

A man is to stand trial accused of involvement in a plot to smuggle consignments of cannabis into Northern Ireland, a judge ordered on Thursday.

Yong Xian Chen, 39, was detained after drugs packages destined for addresses in Belfast were intercepted at East Midlands Airport last August.

Two parcels seized by police are understood to have contained seven kilos of narcotics in total.

Officers also confiscated £1,840 in cash during the subsequent arrest operation.

Chen, a Chinese national with an address at Rooney Way in Belfast, is charged with two counts of attempted possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

He also faces a further count of having criminal property - namely the cash.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court today, Chen confirmed through an interpreter that he understood the allegations against him.

His lawyers did not contest prosecution submissions that he has a case to answer.

With the accused declining to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage, District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted an application to have him returned for Crown Court trial.

Chen was released on continuing bail to return for any future arraignment date.

However, defence counsel Declan Quinn revealed he intends to mount a bid to have the case thrown out.

Mr Quinn told the court he will be making a no bill application based on issues around the prosecution evidence.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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