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massive seizure Police seize £1.6m of coke in Belfast Port in major blow to criminal networks

Authorities had to bring in specialist equipment to remove the cocaine from fuel tank in van


Cocaine worth an estimated £1.6m has been seized at Belfast Port

Cocaine worth an estimated £1.6m has been seized at Belfast Port

Cocaine worth an estimated £1.6m has been seized at Belfast Port

Cocaine worth an estimated £1.6 million has been seized by authorities at Belfast Port.

Two men have been arrested as a result of the find.

20 kilos of the drug was discovered hidden inside an empty fuel tank which was being transported in a van arriving in Belfast after travelling on a ferry from Birkenhead on Monday.

A 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply controlled drugs. He is currently being questioned by NCA investigators.

In Wolverhampton, a 46-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the same offence.

The cocaine haul was uncovered as part of an operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), incorporating Belfast Harbour Police, the PSNI, and the Border Force.

The NCA said officers had to bring in specialist equipment to recover the drugs in an operation which lasted for several hours.

NCA branch commander Adam Warnock said: “This was a significant seizure of cocaine, one of the biggest to be made by law enforcement in Northern Ireland in recent years.

“The loss of the profit that would have been made from it will be felt by the criminal groups involved in drug supply in the province.

“Those groups are also involved in exploitation and violence in our communities, so taking away these drugs will prevent them from reinvesting in further criminal activity.

“Working with our partners across law enforcement we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle organised crime networks and protect the public.”

Detective Chief Superintendent John McVea, from the PSNI, said: “We are delighted with the success of our Law Enforcement colleagues. More importantly we are pleased with the positive impact this will have for individuals and communities within Northern Ireland in terms of disrupting the distribution and supply of Class A drugs and bringing those harmful offenders to justice.

“Anything we can do to support a collective effort across a range of partners, as was seen in yesterday’s operation, is always welcomed, as well as the fact that cocaine with an estimated street value of over £1.6 million has been taken out of the control of criminals.”

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