Five arrested after Belfast cannabis haul

Five people have been arrested following the seizure of £2 million worth of cannabis in Belfast, the police said.

Detectives from the PSNI’s organised crime unit and local police officers carried out a number of searches across the city on Thursday.

Four men, aged between 28 and 59, and one woman, aged 34, were taken into custody in south and east Belfast on suspicion of offences in relation to the supply of the drugs and a number of immigration offences.

They were taken to Musgrave serious crime suite for questioning.

Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton said: “This is a significant haul and demonstrates our commitment to removing dangerous drugs from our communities.

“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.”

With the festive party season approaching, Mr Singleton said he wanted people “to think about where their money is going before they hand over cash for recreational drugs.

“Many people who spend money on a casual transaction at the weekend think that it isn’t harming anyone else; the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Not only is it illegal to purchase these drugs but it fuels the local drug trade which causes irreparable damage and loss to many families and individuals whose lives it destroys.”

He added that spending money on drugs contributed to violence and intimidation inflicted by what he described as “merciless” crime gangs.