Cannabis charge man refused bail at Londonderry court

Londonderry magistrates court
Image caption Londonderry Magistrates Court

A man charged with possessing £800,000 of herbal cannabis has been refused bail at Londonderry Magistrates Court.

33-year-old Mark McPhillips, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, was described by police as a leading member of an organised drugs gang.

The bail application also heard the defendant owns several properties in Spain and the Republic of Ireland.

He was remanded in continuing custody until October 4.

Mr McPhillips was stopped by police while driving a furniture van on the Glengalliagh Road on May 14th this year.

A police officer told the court that drugs were found hidden inside kitchen units in the van.

He said the defendant had told police during his interview that he'd agreed to collect the van containing the herbal cannabis in Sligo because he had a debt of 40,000 euro.

The officer described the defendant as a leading member of an organised drugs gang in Northern Ireland which was involved in smuggling into Northern Ireland high quality herbal cannabis from several European countries.

The officer said his enquiries with a number of European police forces were continuing.