�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - September 1st  2011.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - September 1st 2011.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Drugs valued at £2,000 have been handed over to police after masked men seized the haul in a Derry raid.

A community group passed the large quantity of herbal cannabis along with associated drug paraphernalia to the PSNI after receiving the items from a vigilante gang.

Community worker Martin Collins, of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, was approached by two masked men. He said the men who passed him the drugs did not identify themselves or their organisation. Mr Collins later handed over the drugs to Rosemount Resource Centre which submitted the haul to the police.

Mr Collins said: “They told me that they had searched a house in what they described as the Buncrana Road area after they had received reports of a drug dealer operating in the area. They were not more specific than that.

“They claimed that what they found was this cannabis, scales - which were cleverly disguised to look like a CD cover - and bags which could be used for both cannabis and cocaine. They also told me that they found what amounted to a price list for various tablets and the like.”

He added: “Once I was given this stuff, I brought it to Tommy McCourt in the Rosemount Resource Centre as I know he has dealt with drug finds in the past.”

Mr McCourt said: “The first thing I would like to say is that this haul would suggest a fairly large scale drug dealer and I am glad that at least this amount of drugs have been taken off the streets. But this haul is indicative of the sort of drug problems we face in this community. Some people try to maintain that we don’t really have a drug problem in this city but this sort of stuff should persuade them otherwise.”

Mr. McCourt added: “We have been approached in the past to dispose of drugs and I would call on anyone who has knowledge of where there are drugs to contact groups like ourselves.”

A police spokesman confirmed that “around £2,000 worth of herbal cannabis” was handed in at 7.30pm on Thursday.

He appealed for anyone with any information about drugs or any criminal behaviour to contact police on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.