The cutting agent
Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force last night arrested a 48 year old man in East Belfast. This arrest followed searches at properties in East Belfast and Carrickfergus.
Head of the PCTF Detective Chief Inspector Cummings said: “This search operation targeted East Belfast UVF’s drug supply network. During the searches a quantity of suspected Benzocaine was seized. This product is used by criminals as a ‘cutting agent’ for drugs such as cocaine. They use substances such as Benzocaine to increase the volume of drugs for sale, thereby increasing their criminal profits.
“In addition, a hydraulic press which I believe is for using to compact cocaine into blocks was also seized, along with electronic scales and other drugs paraphernalia.”
“The man arrested has been taken to Musgrave Custody Suite, where he is currently being questioned by detectives.”
“The arrest and seizure is a further demonstration that the PCTF continues to investigate all types of organised criminality linked to paramilitaries, in an ongoing effort to rid our communities of the harm these groups cause and of their coercive control.”
A 40 year old man was also arrested during the search in Carrickfergus for assaulting a police officer and has been reported to the Public Prosecution Service.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland, HM Revenue & Customs and the National Crime Agency have established the Paramilitary Crime Task Force to tackle criminality linked to paramilitarism as part of the Executive’s action plan on tackling paramilitary activity, criminality and organised crime.