Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force investigating the criminality linked to the East Belfast UVF have this afternoon (Friday 29th May) recovered in excess of £600,000 of suspected Cannabis, following two searches in north Belfast and Ballyclare.
Detective Inspector Hamilton said: “Following a proactive policing operation in the area, suspected cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £435,000 were recovered at the scene. One man aged 45 years old was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of Cannabis, possession of Class B Controlled Drugs and possession of Class B Controlled drugs with intent to supply. He is currently assisting police with their enquiries.
“Officers carried out a subsequent search at residential premises in the Ballyclare area as part of the ongoing investigation. In excess of £200,000 of suspected cannabis were seized during this subsequent search operation.
“Today’s operation is evidence that the PCTF will continue to listen to the concerns of the community and act on any information provided. We will investigate all aspects of criminality being carried out by anyone purporting to be operating under the convenient flag of a paramilitary organisation. Paramilitaries are not defenders of their communities, instead they are criminals who prey on vulnerable people and exploit any circumstances they can for their own gain.
"Anyone with information about any criminality linked to paramilitaries should contact police on 101 or anonymously through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111, which gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”
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.
PHOTO CAPTION: Some of the suspected cannabis seized by Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force investigating the criminality linked to the East Belfast UVF, following two searches in north Belfast and Ballyclare.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.