Three people have been arrested in Belfast as part of an operation targeting Lithuanian organised crime groups.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said the group is believed to be responsible for trafficking large quantities of heroin into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Two men, aged 40 and 44, as well as a 39-year-old woman were arrested following five searches on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old man and the woman were arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The woman was also arrested on suspicion of being involved in human trafficking.
The 44-year-old man was arrested via a European Arrest warrant and appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old man remains in custody while the woman has been released on bail, pending further enquiries.
Northern Ireland ‘Lavish life built on misery’
The PSNI said the joint operation is being operated with judicial authorities and police in Lithuania and the Republic of Ireland.
Det Insp Shaw said that organised crime groups “pose a significant risk of harm to the people of Northern Ireland” and that they “deal in fear and exploitation which can bring misery to many”.
“Crime groups choose to exploit some of the most vulnerable people within our societies, preying on their vulnerabilities and exploiting them for their own ends.
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“The only people to profit from are those at the top of the ‘drugs tree’.
“They are able to fund a lifestyle that we can only dream about. They don’t care that they have built their lavish life on the misery of those whose lives they have destroyed.
“The PSNI is determined to try and eradicate all harm caused to our communities and that is why our involvement in this joint operation is a priority.”
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