As part of a paramilitary Crime Task Force campaign, three people were arrested for allegedly smuggling Cannabis among other drugs into Northern Ireland, and a fourth was detained on suspicion of weapons offences.
They are currently being interrogated on suspicion of a number of offenses, including conspiring to import controlled substances and being involved in drug distribution.
A suspected weapon was found at one of the addresses, leading to the arrest of a 29-year-old man on suspicion of firearms offenses.
Between October 2020 and April 2021, eleven postal packages sent from the Netherlands and Belgium to three addresses in Northern Ireland were intercepted, resulting in the arrests.
Amphetamine, MDMA, cannabis, ketamine, and cocaine were among the substances included in the packages, which weighed a total of over 19 kilograms. They were apprehended by Border Force, which was cooperating with the PCTF on the investigation.
Drugs were discovered hidden inside a jigsaw puzzle in one case.
According to NCA forensic analysts, they would have had a total street value of around £470,000.
David Cunningham, Commander of the NCA Belfast Branch, said:
“A significant amount of drugs bound for the streets of Northern Ireland has already been intercepted as part of this inquiry.
“As members of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, we are committed to doing all we can to disrupt the flow of illegal drugs and keep organized criminal networks from profiting from them.”
Detective Superintendent Zoe McKee of the Criminal Investigations Branch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said:
“The variety and quantity of drugs seized as part of this investigation are alarming and suggest a substantial demand within communities.
“Today’s arrests demonstrate our shared interest and actions within the PCTF and around the PSNI to minimise the harm and death caused by their illegal supply and use.“ We continue to ask for the public’s assistance and urge anyone with details that might help us to call police on 101.”