A police search operation in Draperstown on Wednesday uncovered forty stolen sheep and an illegal filling station.
A man was arrested on suspicion of theft as well as possession of suspected cannabis
Chief Inspector Alan Hutton said: “The discovery of the stolen livestock and illegal filling station resulted in the commencement of a multi-agency operation involving HMRC, DARD and PSNI.
The sheep found at the Drumderg Road premises are believed to have been stolen in the Maghera area between the evening of Tuesday 24 February and the morning of Wednesday 25 February. They have since been returned to their owner.
A 32 year old man was arrested on suspicion of theft as well as possession of class B controlled drugs after a quantity of suspected herbal cannabis was also found.
He was later released on bail pending further enquiries.”
Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator, HMRC, said: “Yesterday’s joint activity has stopped illicit fuel entering the legitimate market, preventing further revenue loss and helping legitimate traders fight unfair competition. It is wrong that honest businesses should be undercut by criminals and those involved in making or selling laundered fuel.”
PSNI Chief Inspector Hutton added: “This operation shows our ongoing commitment to tackling all kinds of rural crime. I would ask anyone who knows anything about rural crime in their area to contact their local police on the non-emergency number 101.”