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£800,000 worth of 'skunk' found after joint PSNI and Italian cops raids

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Photos taken by police during recent raids
Photos taken by police during recent raids

The PSNI has uncovered almost £1m worth of 'skunk' cannabis in a joint operation with the Italian Carabinieri and the National Crime Agency.

The operation involved joint raids in Northern Ireland and in Italy.

Searches took place in Bangor, Ballywalter, Belfast, Greenisland and Newtownards.

In Italy, raids were also carried out in Prato and Bologna.

The PSNI said six people in Northern Ireland were arrested as a result of the operation.

Two people were also arrested in Italy.

 Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch said: “We believe we have established the source of a major supply of herbal cannabis trafficked into Northern Ireland.

“We have seized £800,000 of herbal cannabis but our enquiries lead us to believe that much more has already been sent from Italy to Northern Ireland. In recent months, officers in Organised Crime Branch and local Districts have seized £1.2m worth of herbal cannabis as part of this operation.

“In Northern Ireland, we have searched properties in Belfast, Greenisland, Bangor, Newtownards and Ballywalter. Those arrested are being questioned at Bangor police station on suspicion of the importation of cannabis and conspiracy to supply cannabis and money laundering.

“This is a developing investigation and we are maintaining close contact with our colleagues in the Italian Carabinieri and the National Crime Agency as well as a number of other law enforcement agencies in the UK and Ireland."

 He added: “Our objective is to ensure we identify and apprehend as many of those allegedly involved in this criminality and bring them before the courts, as well as seize drugs and as many criminal assets as possible.”