Loaded gun found amid Newtownabbey/Londonderry anti-drug raid
Three people were arrested in Newtownabbey and Londonderry on Thursday as part of a major investigation into drugs supply and money laundering.
During a search of a house in Newtownabbey, police seized a loaded handgun, machete, knife, stab proof vest, quantity of cash and cash counting machine.
A 34 year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life and possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.
The man was also arrested on suspicion of possession of criminal property and converting criminal property which relates to the purchase of high end watches worth around £15,000.
They were both taken to Antrim Police Station for questioning.
A 48-year-old man was arrested in Londonderry on suspicion of supplying Class A and B drugs following the seizure of a substantial quantity of suspected cocaine and cannabis with an estimated street value of over £750,000 from a vehicle that was stopped by police in the same seizure in 2017.
He was taken for questioning at Strand Road Police Station in the city.
The arrests are linked to a vehicle that was stopped by police in Belfast in February 2017.
Detective Inspector Tom McClure said: “The arrests are linked to the seizure of a substantial quantity of suspected cocaine and cannabis with an estimated street value of over £750,000 that was seized from a vehicle that was stopped by police in Belfast on February 8, 2017.
“This was a significant haul of drugs recovered by our officers as part of a proactive operation targeting criminals intent on making money from illicit drugs.
“I am pleased to have removed a suspected firearm and ammunition which had the potential to cause serious harm.
“We will continue in our efforts to make Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work by proactively investigating and arresting people involved in serious criminality.
“The supply of controlled drugs by gangs is the cause of significant harm in our communities.
“Those who involve themselves in such criminality should expect to end up in a prison cell.
“There is no place in our society for these individuals who are only interested in making money for their own personal gain at the expense of others.
“They do not care that their actions could end up killing people.
“Drugs not only affect the person taking them, their families and the community also suffer.
“I would ask anyone who has any information about the use or supply of illegal drugs to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”