The Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) conducted a number of searches in the Ballyclare area today, Tuesday, 16 February, in an operation targeting suspected criminality linked to the South East Antrim UDA.

Four searches, conducted at residential addresses, were carried out by Detectives from the PCTF alongside officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and Tactical Support Unit. They were carried out as part of ongoing investigations into suspected criminality linked to South East Antrim UDA. The matters under investigation relate to drug related criminality and illegal money lending.

As a result of one of the searches, a 29 year old male has been arrested under the Terrorism Act.

At another search a quantity of suspected class B controlled drugs was located along with a substantial sum of cash which was seized. One man, aged 48 years was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class B controlled drugs with intent to supply. He has been subsequently released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Various other items have been seized and these will be the subject of ongoing investigative enquiries.

Detective Inspector O’Neill said: "These searches illustrate our determination to tackle the wide ranging criminality and harm linked to paramilitaries, and reflects our commitment to safeguarding communities. The possession and distribution of drugs within communities will not and should not be tolerated and we will continue our campaign against those who are intent on profiting from the significant harm caused by paramilitary criminality and activity.

“I would appeal to anyone with information about illegal money lending or drug use or drug dealing to call police on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, you can submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via The independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at