Man accused over £1m cannabis haul denied bail

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A Co Louth man charged in connection with the seizure of £1 million worth of herbal cannabis in Belfast must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Robert Byrne, 37, was refused bail over his alleged involvement in a plot to bring the drugs in from England.

Police seized 50 kilos of cannabis after two vehicles were stopped and searched at Dargan Road in the city on January 26.

The consignment was said to have been hidden inside flower boxes before being transported by lorry across the Irish Sea.

Byrne, of Moneymore in Drogheda, was arrested along with Gerard Bates, a 25-year-old HGV driver from Watsonville in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

Both men are charged with possessing class B drugs with intent to supply, and being concerned in its supply.

Police have claimed a Dublin-based crime gang was behind the attempt to import the cannabis.

With Bates previously granted bail, lawyers for Byrne mounted a new bid to secure his release from custody.

But the prosecution opposed the application, claiming thousands of pounds worth of cannabis was also seized during a search of his property.

Denying bail, Mr Justice Maguire backed previous concerns about the potential risks of either fleeing or reoffending.