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substantial find Two men from Coventry appear in Belfast court charged with £375k cannabis haul

The herbal cannabis was found in the back of a furniture van and both men deny any knowledge of the drugs being there

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The cannabis was found hidden in footstools in the back of a delivery van

The cannabis was found hidden in footstools in the back of a delivery van

The cannabis was found hidden in footstools in the back of a delivery van

Two English men have been charged after a massive £375,000 haul of drugs was seized in Northern Ireland.

The drugs were found in a furniture van which was stopped and searched after arriving on a ferry to Northern Ireland from Birkenhead in England last Tuesday evening.

The Vauxhall Vivaroi was stopped in the Dargan Road area of Belfast, where packages of herbal cannabis were found hidden inside footstools in the back of the van.

Sufyan Shazad (41), from Owens Road in Coventry, and Zahid Shabbir (38), from Doffers Lane in Coventry, have both been charged with possession of Class B drugs with the intent to supply, and have appeared at Belfast Magistrate’s Court.

Both of the men deny any knowledge of the drugs found in the back of the van.

Mr Shabbir has claimed a Chinese man in Coventry asked him to transport the furniture to Belfast, and that he was offered £3,000 minus expenses to deliver the furniture, with his defence solicitor saying his client took the offer of work at “face value”.

Mr Shazad’s lawyer has said his client only went on the trip to keep his friends company, and also wasn’t aware there were drugs in the vehicle.

The case, in which the judge described as “an extremely substantial drugs find”, was adjourned for four weeks, and both men were released on bail on conditions which included the pair must not have any contact with each other and must surrender their passports.

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