Thursday 14 December 2017

Two in court over €2.4m drug seizure

Tom Shiel and Grainne Cunningham

TWO Chinese men have appeared before a special court sitting on charges relating to the seizure of 3,000 cannabis plants with an estimated value of €2.4m.

The seizure at the warehouse at the industrial park in Milltown, Co Galway, was one of two major drug hauls at the weekend, with a total value of almost €4m.

In total, six people were arrested after two separate and unrelated operations, one in Galway and the other in Kells, Co Meath.

At a special sitting of Galway District Court yesterday, Zhi Qiang Lin (45) and Yuan Chen Wei (52) were both charged with possession and cultivation of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. Both men gave addresses in Portadown, Northern Ireland.

Inspector Michael Coppinger of Galway garda station said the State's application was that they should be remanded in custody to appear before Harristown Court, Castlerea, next Friday.

He said that the State was objecting to any bail.


Judge Gerard Furlong remanded them in custody to appear before Harristown District Court on Friday at 10.30am.

Two other Chinese men, both in their 30s, who were arrested in Tuam on Saturday afternoon, are still being questioned regarding the drugs haul.

Meanwhile, a man and a woman are expected to appear before Ardee District Court today in connection with a drugs seizure in Kells, Co Meath.

Cannabis plants and herb with an estimated street value of €1.5m was seized last Friday as part of an intelligence-led operation by the Garda Drug Unit in Kells, assisted by the Regional Support Unit.

The large cannabis cultivation operation was discovered following a search operation at a business premises in Kells.

Irish Independent

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