A WIGAN man has been accused of involvement in a multi-million pound drug smuggling operation.
Paul Gleeson was arrested after a 20kg haul of heroin was seized on arrival at the port of Dover.
The 51-year-old was today due to appear before justices, charged with conspiracy to import a Class A drug.
Gleeson, whose son is former Wigan Warriors star Sean, had been detained on Tuesday in Wigan by police and UK Border Agency officers.
Later that same day, officers from Pemberton Neighbourhood Policing Team joined the agency in searching his home in St Matthew’s Close, Highfield.
The heroin seized has a multi-million pound street value.
A 49-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of drug offences, but was later bailed, pending further police inquiries.
A UK Border Agency spokeswoman said: “UK Border Agency officers carried out an operation in the Highfield area of Wigan on Tuesday.
“Two people, a 51-year-old man and 49-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of drug offences.”
Gleeson was questioned on Tuesday night before being charged, and was taken to Folkestone to appear at its magistrates’ court.
He was due to stand before the Kent court yesterday, but the security van in which he was travelling became caught up in traffic and did not arrive in time.
He was instead due to appear at either Folkestone or Dover Magistrates’ Court this morning.
Sean Gleeson, 23, currently plays for Salford City Reds, while Paul Gleeson’s nephew Martin, who also played for Wigan but parted company with the club earlier this year, is currently on leave from Hull FC with a stress-related illness.