POLICE say they have seized what they believe “could be one of Northern Ireland’s largest ever hauls of herbal cannabis”.

The cannabis was intercepted and five people arrested by PSNI officers on Friday 30 March following a joint operation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, An Garda Síochána and Irish customs officials under the banner of the Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: “This huge haul of cannabis was found concealed inside an industrial sized fuel tank on a shipping pallet at a property in Dromore, County Down on Friday.

“Five individuals, three men and two women were detained at the address.

“Officers also carried out a number of follow up searches and enquiries at other locations.

“This seizure and the associated searches and arrests demonstrate the effectiveness of the real time intelligence sharing and cross-border collaboration that takes place daily to tackle serious and organised criminality in both jurisdictions.

“With the assistance of our colleagues in An Garda Síochána and Revenue Commissioners we have undoubtedly prevented the significant harm that would have resulted from this huge consignment of drugs reaching the streets of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland today.”

Also speaking today, An Garda Síochána Assistant Commissioner Barry O’Brien said: “I wish to commend all agencies involved in both jurisdictions which resulted in the seizure of a substantial quantity of controlled drugs.

This demonstrates the practical application of the Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force.”

ACC Martin concluded: “Our thanks go to all those involved in this operation for their diligence and professionalism.

“Their combined hard work and dedication has gone a long way in helping us achieve our shared goal of keeping people safe.”

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