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Four arrests in major Armagh anti-drugs operation

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Four arrests in major Armagh anti-drugs operation
Four arrests in major Armagh anti-drugs operation

The PSNI's Organised Crime Branch has arrested four people on suspicion of money laundering and drugs offences.

The operation, which took place in Armagh yesterday, targeted what police say they believe is a high-level organised crime gang  involved in the supply of illegal drugs and other serious criminality.

The operation began when police forcibly stopped a van on the Killylea Road at around 3pm. 

£10,000 in cash was found during a search of the vehicle. In a search of another property, at Salters Grange Road, police seized a Mercedes S63 AMG car and a BMW X5 jeep

Detective Inspector Tom McClure explained: "Inside the van we discovered a package containing approximately £10,000 in cash. The driver of the van, a 38 year old man, was arrested at the scene."

During a subsequent search at a house on Salters Grange Road, Armagh police seized a Mercedes S63 AMG car, a BMW X5 Jeep and a quantity of documentation. 

Police said a second suspect, a 31-year-old man, was arrested at a filling station on Cathedral Road in Armagh at around 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, during a search at a property on Callan Crescent, police found £160,000 in cash, four high-end designer watches and a taser gun.

A man aged 58 and 56-year-old woman were arrested at the address.

A police spokesperson said: "All four individuals remain in custody this morning (Thursday) and will be questioned on suspicion of a number of offences including possessing, concealing and converting criminal property as well as drugs supply offences. 

"We believe this operation has struck a major blow to the activities of an organised gang involved in serious drugs criminality in Northern Ireland. 

"PSNI Reactive and Organised Crime Branch is committed to making Northern Ireland a hostile environment for those in our community who are involved in serious drugs criminality. We will seek to identify them, disrupt their activities, arrest them and place them before the courts. We will also seek to ensure that they do not derive any material benefit from their illegal activities."

Anyone with information about drugs or any illegal activity can contact police on 101 or information can be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.