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Suspected cannabis worth more than £600k seized in Belfast and Ballyclare searches

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Some of the suspected cannabis seized by Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Some of the suspected cannabis seized by Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Some of the suspected cannabis seized by Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Police have seized more than £600,000 worth of suspected cannabis following searches in north Belfast and Ballyclare.

Two raids were carried out by Paramilitary Crime Task Force officers investigating criminality linked to the east Belfast UVF and the discovery was made on Friday afternoon.

A 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and possession with intent to supply.

PSNI Detective Inspector Mark Hamilton said: "Following a proactive policing operation in the area, suspected cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £435,000 were recovered at the scene.

"Officers carried out a subsequent search at residential premises in the Ballyclare area as part of the ongoing investigation. In excess of £200,000 of suspected cannabis was seized during this subsequent search operation."

Detective Inspector Hamilton said the PSNI will continue to listen to the concerns of the community and act on any information provided.

"We will investigate all aspects of criminality being carried out by anyone purporting to be operating under the convenient flag of a paramilitary organisation," he said.

"Paramilitaries are not defenders of their communities, instead they are criminals who prey on vulnerable people and exploit any circumstances they can for their own gain."

Belfast Telegraph