Chinese student ‘key figure’ in crime gang

Court
Court

A Chinese woman who allegedly played an “exalted, key, trusted organisational role” in an international organised crime gang wept in the dock as she was charged with multiple drug offences.

Appearing in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates’ Court on Saturday alongside an interpreter, 24-year-old Yahan Wang spoke only to confirm that she understood the seven charges against her.

Wang, a full-time student at Coventry University who is originally from an “affluent” family in China but with an address at Southside Central Walk in Birmingham, faces two counts of importing class B cannabis, conspiring to supply cannabis, possessing the class B drug with intent to supply, all of which are alleged to have occurred on various dates between January 1 and March 24 this year.

She faces three further money laundering offences on dates between February 13 2012 and March 10 this year.

A detective constable said police believe she “sits at a high level within this organised crime gang and she plays a key, trusted organisational role within the group”.

“It is the police case that she facilitated the importation of multiple packages of cannabis into Northern Ireland,” claimed the officeer, who added that Wang travelled regularly between the UK mainland, Italy – where three cannabis factories were uncovered – and China, and “appears to have access to large sums of cash”.

The officer revealed that despite being an unemployed student, £75,000 had gone through her three bank accounts in the space of a year.

Wang was arrested by West Midlands police on Wednesday before being brought to NI for questioning, and is the ninth suspect to appear in court charged with a multi-million pound operation.

She was remanded in custody to appear again on May 15.