Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

'Deep Throat' blows lid on LVF crimelord

THE LVF in north Belfast traded drugs and guns with the INLA, provided intelligence to Special Branch on other loyalists and pocketed more than £1m for themselves, a former associate claims.

THE LVF in north Belfast traded drugs and guns with the INLA, provided intelligence to Special Branch on other loyalists and pocketed more than £1m for themselves, a former associate claims.

The loyalist 'deep throat' spent five years as sidekick to a top north Belfast LVF man who used the terror group to amass a formidable arsenal and huge wealth.

Our source - who is under a death sentence from the leader of the now-disbanded LVF in the north of the city - had to move from his Ballysillan Avenue home after police warned him his life was in danger.

The man doesn't want his name published or his face shown.

He denies being a member of the LVF, but admits to being a sympathiser, which was how he came to be trusted by the paramilitary leader.

The LVF boss - who has a conviction for supplying drugs - has been driven out of the Ballysillan Avenue area by the UDA and the UVF

His former associate told us: "For five years, Ballysillan Avenue was the busiest street in Belfast for drug dealing, from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. The man who I travelled with was making huge money from it.

"Two of his uncles lived in the area and they were getting a weekly wage for helping out with the drugs supply, but that has all stopped now. The UDA stopped it and there's no drug dealing in the street now."

For five years he witnessed deals being done by the crimelord with the INLA to bring cocaine, cannabis, Ecstasy and guns into north Belfast.

The former associate said he nearly suffered the same fate as Denise Larkin (17), who died from a deadly 'snowball' drugs cocktail in 2004.

He added: "The man who ran this whole drug empire came to me on the same night Denise Larkin died, put a bag on the table and said I should try the 'snowball'.

"I asked what was in it, and he said (Colombian drug baron Pablo) Escobar's cocaine and some other stuff. I told him to get it out of my house, because I had a kid and another one on the way.

"The next day, when I learned that Denise had died, he came to my house and said he was worried because his fingerprints were on the bag that the drugs were in. He said the peelers had got it from her bin and he'd be in big trouble.

"Nothing ever came of it anyway and the police never charged him with supplying drugs to Denise."

During his five years with the leading loyalist, the father-of-two said he witnessed deals going down with the INLA - although at the time he didn't know the full extent of the connection with republicans.

"One of the meetings was with 'Dark Cloud' (the Ardoyne INLA leader), who headbutted Billy Hutchinson at the Holy Cross dispute. Another was with Kevin McAlorum, who was shot dead. I went with him one day and we went to the Lower Hightown Road. He got into McAlorum's car and they had a discussion - this was about two months before McAlorum was hit.

"He later told me that he had got two bulletproof jackets for Kevin, because he was in danger. They didn't help him, as he was shot in the head.

"After that, he asked his other INLA contacts if they knew where McAlorum's Glock (pistol) was, because he wanted to get it, but he didn't. I only knew it was McAlorum he was meeting after they showed his picture in the paper."

But getting guns wasn't a problem for the LVF in north Belfast.

"This individual got about a dozen guns from the INLA. He dealt with the INLA to get stolen cigarettes, guns and drugs all the time. One time, when there was a big police operation near Broadway in west Belfast and a lorry was seized with drugs and guns onboard, he was mad. He said 'that's my stuff they've got'.

"During the LVF feud with the UVF he came down to my house and he said he had a 'job' he wanted me to do - he wanted me to kill a UVF man in the area.

"He wanted me to whack a UVF man, but I told him killing loyalists wasn't my cup of tea. We had a big argument because I said the lad who was shot and blinded on the Crumlin Road (David Hanley) should never have been touched. It was a big row."

Now living away from the Ballysillan area, the man said he remained concerned that the former LVF leader would try to kill him.

"It's too late to silence me now, because loyalists know it all and I have told my story, so it's on the record.

"He knows, the whole family knows, what loyalists think of them - touts and traitors. They were dealing with people who killed Trevor King and other loyalists and telling the Special Branch what other loyalists were doing to save their own necks - nobody trusts them.

"He still walks his dogs as far out as the Seven Mile Straight, and he once said to me that he knew the hills, and they were great places to hide things, and nobody would think anything odd about walking the dog out there.

"He has about 25 to 30 handguns and three AK-47s. He got about half of them from the INLA and he knows how to use them, but other loyalists won't let him into areas because they know what he was up to, and it's him that's in more danger than me now."

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