An organized crime gang operating in Northern Ireland was behind the importation of cannabis worth £1.3m, police have said.
Two 68-year-old women and a 72-year-old man were among six people arrested after the cannabis was found on a shipping pallet located inside an industrial-sized fuel tank at a property in Dromore, County Down, on Friday.
The three pensioners have been released on bail pending further inquiries, while two men, aged 32 and 37, and a 42-year-old woman remain in custody.
The discovery was made in a joint operation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Garda Síochána and Irish customs officials as part of the cross-border joint agency task force.
Det Supt Bobby Singleton said police believe the drugs were linked to an organized crime group in Northern Ireland.
He said it was the largest seizure for some time.
He added: “We are continuing to investigate but at the moment we believe these drugs are linked to the activities of an organized crime group operating in Northern Ireland.”
The Garda Síochána assistant commissioner Barry O’Brien said: “I wish to commend all agencies involved in both jurisdictions which resulted in the seizure of a substantial quantity of controlled drugs.
“This demonstrates the practical application of the cross-border joint agency task force.”
O’Brien added: “Our thanks go to all those involved in this operation for their diligence and professionalism.
“Their combined hard work and dedication has gone a long way in helping us achieve our shared goal of keeping people safe.”