Cocaine with an estimated street value of £10m has been recovered in a police operation in south Armagh.
It is the largest seizure of cocaine ever made by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
Some 118kg kilograms of the drug was found in a lorry stopped by a neighbourhood patrol in Jonesborough on 11 December.
Police have said the drugs were hidden below frozen meat products.
A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a number of driving offences.
He has since been released on bail.
The drugs were discovered in a “false floor” underneath packages of meat.
Two plastic containers containing the drugs were placed in a custom-built wooden void, surrounded by concrete and lead.
Det Ch Supt Andy Hill said officers seized 100 individual blocks of cocaine, 118kg in total.
Police were assisted by the National Crime Agency and the UK Border Force, who x-rayed the vehicle.
Insp Norman Haslett said: “The sophistication of the concealment method and sheer quantity of the drugs gives an indication of the scale of criminality involved.
“I believe that this significant quantity of drugs would have been distributed and sold in local communities across Northern Ireland bringing untold harm.”
The PSNI’s organised crime branch has commenced an investigation.
They are working alongside partners in the National Crime Agency.
Det Ch Supt Andy Hill said: “The investigation is at an early stage and we are making a specific appeal to anyone who noticed a maroon-coloured Iveco Eurocargo lorry with the registration number LK08 LHO travelling within the south Armagh area, particularly in the wider Jonesborough and Keady areas, to make contact with police.”
Det Ch Supt Hill said the PSNI has not ruled out a potential link to paramilitary groups.
“We have dealt a serious blow to organised crime groups,” he added.
Police have also appealed for any dash-cam or CCTV footage to be made available to them.
Source : BBC