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'Significant player' in Belfast crime gang refused bail

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Chinese national Wen Bin Lee, 26, was refused bail (stock photo)

Chinese national Wen Bin Lee, 26, was refused bail (stock photo)

Chinese national Wen Bin Lee, 26, was refused bail (stock photo)

An alleged "significant player" in a crime gang linked to a £720,000 cannabis seizure in Belfast must remain in custody, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Chinese national Wen Bin Lee (26) was refused bail on charges connected to raids carried out last summer.

Police searched properties in the Donegall Quay area and in the south of the city.

Bags of cannabis and a large quantity of cash were recovered during the operation on July 22.

Lee, with an address at the Obel Building on Donegall Quay, is accused of possessing and conspiring to supply the Class B drug.

He also faces charges of possessing and converting criminal property - namely high value goods - illegal entry to the UK and having a false identity document.

Neither Lee nor any defence lawyer were present at Belfast Magistrates' Court for Wednesday's bail hearing.

But opposing the scheduled application for release from custody, a detective claimed there was a risk of further offences.

"This case involves drugs with an estimated street value of £720,000," he said.

"The defendant is believed to be a significant player in this particular gang, he appears to be heavily involved."

DNA and CCTV evidence allegedly connects Lee to the case, the court heard.

The detective added: "We believe given his high-level involvement in criminality he's likely to return to that lifestyle to fund his losses."

Denying bail, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ruled: "It's quite proper that he should remain in custody."

Lee is due to appear again by video-link in four weeks time.

Belfast Telegraph