Northern Ireland news

Mobile meth lab found in rucksack, court hears

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police discovered an assortment of alleged drug-making paraphernalia in a rucksack

A MOBILE crystal meth lab was allegedly discovered in the rucksack of a man stopped in Belfast, a court has heard.

Police claimed Mario Uricek (45) was carrying a bag containing a gas cooker, chemicals and tubes when detained on Castlereagh Street on Tuesday.

Another suspected drug manufacturing facility was uncovered during follow-up searches at the Czech national's home on the outskirts of the city.

Details emerged as Mr Uricek and female co-accused Lucia Gajdosova, a 34-year-old from Slovakia, faced charges connected to the seizures.

The pair, both with an address at Graymount Park in Newtownabbey, are jointly accused of possessing methamphetamine with intent to supply and being concerned in its production.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police stopped Mr Uricek and discovered an assortment of alleged drug-making paraphernalia in his rucksack.

A PSNI constable said a portable gas cooker and bottles of white spirits were sticking out of the bag.

Searches located suspected deal bags, digital scales, butane gas, plastic containers containing crystals and a large tube in bubble wrapping.

"Police believe this is a mobile meth lab he was carrying around Belfast in a rucksack," the officer said.

Similar material was found at the Graymount Park address, where Ms Gajdosova was said to have been present.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes was told Mr Uricek denies any intent to supply.

"He explained how he makes crystal meth and stated it's for his own personal use," the officer said.

Asked if the explanation was feasible, the constable replied: "It's not beyond the realms of possibility."

Both accused were granted bail to appear again next month.

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