Court hears of £500k drugs haul

Two men were remanded into custody in Belfast today (Friday) on charges linked to a bid to import nearly half a million pounds worth of cannabis.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 2:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:54 pm

Chinese nationals Xiong Bing He, 30, and Xia Shu Cheng, 32, were arrested in Portadown and Ballymena as part of the investigation into the seizure of two packages from Portugal last month.

The pair appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court jointly charged with the attempted importation of Class B drugs, possession with intent to supply and conspiracy to supply.

He, of Tandragee Road in Portadown, is further accused of having a fake Portuguese passport.

The alleged offences were committed on dates between November 14 and December 8 this year.

An investigating detective confirmed he could connect both men to the charges.

Neither He nor Cheng, of no fixed address, mounted applications for bail.District Judge Fiona Bagnall remanded them both in custody to appear again on January 6.

The charges against them relate to a probe into a suspected plot to import large amounts of herbal cannabis and cannabis resin.

Police searched houses in Ballymena and Portadown on Thursday in a follow-up to Border Force officers intercepting two parcels from Portugal on November 14.

According to the PSNI the investigation has led to the recovery of around £450,000 worth of class B drugs.