Sinn Féin’s dodgy drugs haul

A very strange tale in today’s Irish News[subs req] and not carried anywhere else to my knowledge [not even the Sinn Féin website? – Ed], but we have the photographic evidence.. which I’ll come to in a minute. According to the report, seven packages of a suspicious white powder weighing approximately 6 kilos were “given in anonymously at the offices of Sinn Féin in Dungannon on Monday”.
What did the staff there do? Well, first of all they got hold of the local SF MLA, Francie Molloy and a local SF councillor, Barry Monteith.. and had them pose for the following photograph –

[“Say hello to my little friend”? – Ed]

Next on the agenda was to pass six kilos of what they believed to be cocaine to a drugs awareness group, Breakthru, who then, as the Irish News report tells us, “handed the suspected haul to police and tests are being carried out to identify the substance.”

A police spokesman gives us this snippet-

A police spokesman confirmed seven packages had been received by police. “If the packages turn out to contain Class A drugs, this will be a major find worth £80,000”, Chief Inspector Tom Singler said.

Now far be it from me to tell the police how to do their job, but I’d have though that if the packages turn out to contain Class A drugs they’d be wanting to ask a few questions. Such as, “What exactly do you mean by given in anonymously?”. “Were the packages handed to a SF office staff member?” “Were they just sitting by the door when the staff turned up for work?” “And how long did it take to get the six kilos of [suspected] cocaine to the police? And why so long?” “The SF office in Dungannon got the packages on Monday you say?” “How many hands did it pass through on the way to the police?”

You might think the police would be more than interested in finding out how these drugs ended up in the hands of SF in the first place.. after all, we’re talking about six kilos of cocaine if the suspicions are confirmed. As a comparison, in the entire year 2005/2006, from a total of 168 seizures of cocaine across the whole of Northern Ireland, 27.1 kilos were actually recovered[pdf file] – an increase from 21.3 kilos the previous year, and just 11.5 kilos the year before that. Multi-kilo hauls of cocaine are not that common, and the last one, when two German nationals were arrested in June this year at Belfast International Airport, 13.5 kilos were recovered.. the largest ever amount seized.. and the estimated value of that haul was �3 million..

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