Police believe they have disrupted a major drug smuggling ring which saw huge amounts of cocaine imported into Northern Ireland via a ferry from Liverpool.
he’s the man detectives suspect is at the center of the money-spinning racket – Scott McNally, who denies any wrongdoing.
Scouser, 39, appeared in Belfast Magistrates’ Court last week on five counts of possession of Class A and Class B drugs with the intention of providing them.
He is also accused of having encouraged or aided the supply of a drug.
McNally, pictured here on a ferry crossing the Irish Sea just before his October 6 arrest in Belfast port, is believed to be part of a major drug trafficking ring.
The racketeering involves Derry traffickers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, buying high-quality cocaine and cannabis from criminal gangs in the North West of England and using ‘mules’ to sneak in. Northern Ireland by passenger ship.
McNally is believed to be at the heart of the scam and is suspected of using his job at a ferry company to cover up drug trafficking. He also has strong family ties in Derry.
A source with knowledge of the PSNI operation that led to his arrest said: ‘Police have known for some time that drug traffickers in Derry are sourcing cocaine and cannabis from criminals in the Northwestern part of the country. England, especially Liverpool.
“It also became clear that the drugs were brought into Northern Ireland by foot passengers on ferries to Belfast.
“It was this information that led to Scott McNally’s arrest last month. He was held in Belfast harbor after getting off the Liverpool boat. “
PSNI has confirmed that the arrest of a man at Belfast port was part of a joint operation with Merseyside Police.
Detective Sergeant Patrick Conlan said: ‘Detectives arrested the man at Belfast port at around 7:30 am on October 6, he was searched and a quantity of suspected Class A drugs was located. I would ask anyone with information on the use or supply of illegal drugs to call the police on non-urgent number 101. ”
The Liverpool docks have long been a gateway for cocaine and cannabis entering Northern Ireland and are frequently used by paramilitaries and local criminal gangs.
Security sources told Sunday Life that the drugs Scott McNally is accused of possessing with the intention of supplying were likely destined for dealers in Derry.
Police have repeatedly accused an INLA gang in the city of taxing drug traffickers, with those who do not pay being shot or beaten.
In an independent operation last Wednesday, officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force raided Derry related to INLA drug trafficking, seizing suspected Class B drugs and cash.
A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to provide drugs and of conspiracy to transfer criminal property.
Detective Inspector Kerry Brennan said: “The possession and supply of drugs within communities should not and indeed will not be tolerated. The arrest and seizure of drugs reflects our continued commitment to protect the local population. “