Northern Ireland

'Chinese triad link' over £2m drugs find in Belfast

Drugs seized by police Image copyright Pacemaker

Police are investigating a link to a Chinese organised crime gang after drugs worth £2m were seized in Belfast.

The discovery of about 220lb (100kg) of cannabis was one of the most significant seizures of drugs by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) this year, said detectives.

Four men and a woman were arrested in the city on Thursday.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption The cannabis discovery was one of the most significant this year, said police

They were taken to Musgrave Police Station in Belfast for questioning and remain in custody.

The four men, aged 59, 46, 39 and 28, and the 34-year-old woman, were arrested in south and east Belfast on suspicion of drugs supply and immigration offences.

Det Supt Bobby Singleton said the discovery came after searches were carried out by the PSNI's organised crime unit at seven addresses across Belfast.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Drug dealers are "parasites who don't care about their communities", said Det Supt Bobby Singleton

"This is a significant haul and demonstrates our commitment to removing dangerous drugs from our communities," he said.

"We are following several lines of inquiry - one is a potential link to a triad organised crime gang and another is potential links to paramilitary groups."

Mr Singleton appealed to the public to contact police if they had information about drug dealers in their area.

"As we approach the festive party season I want people to think about where their money is going before they hand over cash for recreational drugs," he said.