gun seized | 

Two arrested by cops investigating hoax bomb incident targeting Simon Coveney

A suspected firearm was seized as well as a quantity of drugs and a large sum of cash

Police at the scene as Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has been moved out of a building in north Belfast amid a security alert. Pic Pacemaker

Jamie McDowell

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Serious Crime Branch investigating a hijacking and hoax bomb alert targeting Foreign Minister Simon Coveney have arrested a woman and a man in Belfast.

The arrests come as the PSNI conducted searches following the incident which saw Coveney evacuated from the peace conference in Belfast’s Houben Centre, where the ‘Build the Common Ground’ event was being hosted by the John and Pat Hume Foundation.

Police carried out searches last night in the Ballysillan and Springmartin areas of north and west Belfast.

A number of items including a suspected firearm, two vehicles, a quantity of controlled drugs and a large sum of cash was recovered.

A 38-year-old woman was arrested after the searches on suspicion of possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances, possessing criminal property and concealing criminal property, and is currently in custody assisting police with their enquiries.

PSNI detectives today also arrested a 41-year-old man under the Terrorism Act. He is being questioned in Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

The police said enquiries into the incident are ongoing and anyone with any information which could assist with the investigation is asked to call detectives on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

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