THREE ARRESTED OVER WEST BELFAST UDA DRUG DEALING RACKET

OFFICERS from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force today arrested three people and seized suspected class A and B controlled drugs during an operation targeting the organised criminal activity of the West Belfast UDA.

Drugs have been seized along with a large sum of cash and a vehicle, during planned searches in Belfast and Millisle.

Two men, aged 49 and 25 were arrested in Belfast while a third aged 41 was detained in Millisle.

Detective Inspector Phelan said: “The Paramilitary Crime Task Force continues to disrupt organised criminals who brand themselves under the convenient label of paramilitarism.

“Today’s operation was part of our ongoing proactive investigation into criminality linked to the west Belfast UDA.

“Criminal groups like this claim to be protecting their communities from crime however in reality they themselves are heavily involved in a wide range of criminality including extortion, the supply of illegal drugs, counterfeit goods and money laundering.

“Their main objective is to line their pockets, regardless of the harm and misery that they bring to people in the local area.

“Today’s operation demonstrates that police are listening to local communities and further demonstrates our commitment to bringing those involved in the criminality associated with paramilitarism before the courts and we know that the communities most affected by┬ádrug dealing and violence utterly support our ongoing efforts and want to work with us to end the harm caused by paramilitaries and drugs.

“I would appeal for anyone with information regarding criminality by paramilitary organisations to contact police on 101.

“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

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