Northern Ireland

PSNI detectives carry out searches in connection with £150m cocaine seizure

Military personnel aboard the MV Matthew as it was escorted into Cork by the Irish Navy. A haul of cocaine worth £136 million was found on the vessel. Picture Niall Carson. PA Wire
Military personnel aboard the MV Matthew as it was escorted into Cork by the Irish Navy. A haul of cocaine worth £136 million was found on the vessel. Picture Niall Carson. PA Wire Military personnel aboard the MV Matthew as it was escorted into Cork by the Irish Navy. A haul of cocaine worth £136 million was found on the vessel. Picture Niall Carson. PA Wire

Police searched properties in Newry as part of a joint operation with Gardaí nvestigating the seizure of close to £140m of cocaine off the coast of Cork in September.

Members of the PSNI along with officers attached to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, operation as a Joint Agency Task Force (JATF), carried out "coordinated and simultaneous search operations" on Tuesday.

Detectives from the Police Service’s Organised Crime Branch carried out searches in Newry and  seized a number of items, including a vehicle and mobile phones. 

The MV Matthew was boarded on September 26 off the coast of Cork. It left the southern Caribbean more than a month earlier, sailing to Guyana on the coast of South America to collect cargo.

It is alleged the cargo was then transported to Europe. Members of the Garda, Naval Service, Army Ranger Wing and Revenue officials were involving in the operation intercepting the ship.

In a statement, the PSNI said: "Working with partners, the Police Service is committed to detecting and preventing drug-related activity – from the importation of drugs to the inevitable fallout."