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Four arrested by detectives in Boreland murder probe

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 14/09/2016

Gunned down: John Boreland
Gunned down: John Boreland

Four men have been arrested by detectives investigating the murder of a prominent loyalist paramilitary.

UDA member John Boreland (46) was gunned down in north Belfast last month.

A 29-year-old man was detained in north Ayrshire, Scotland, while two others, aged 33 and 61, were arrested in north Belfast yesterday, the PSNI said.

A 33-year-old man was arrested in Newtownabbey yesterday evening.

All suspects have been taken to Musgrave police station in Belfast for questioning.

Searches of two properties in north Ayrshire are also being conducted. Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, who is leading the murder hunt, said: "Officers have travelled to Scotland to assist colleagues from Police Scotland with the arrest and related searches."

Boreland, a well-known criminal, was hit a number of times with rounds from a shotgun as he walked to his flat in the Sunningdale Gardens area of north Belfast on August 7.

He died at the scene, just minutes after leaving his local bar.

His murder is believed to be part of a turf war between factions of the UDA in the north and south of the city.

In a bid to try and calm tensions, the UDA in north Belfast announced in August it had changed its leadership.

Boreland, a father-of-three and close associate of north Belfast loyalist Andre Shoukri, survived an assassination attempt in 2014 and had been made aware of a death threat in the weeks prior to his murder.

In the aftermath of the attack, one man was arrested but was later released unconditionally.

A number of searches were also carried out in Belfast and a vehicle was seized.

DCI Galloway made a fresh appeal for information about a car used by the gunmen which has been subject to a detailed forensic examination.

"The investigation is progressing and I would again appeal for information about a silver Renault Megane car which was used by the killers," the senior officer said. "The car, registration number GJZ 4870, was in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast in the days leading up to the murder on Sunday August 7.

"We are still very keen to hear from anyone who saw it, saw who was in it and where it had been parked."

The vehicle was found partially burnt out at an old quarry on Wheelers Road near Lisburn on August 9.

Police ask that anyone with information about the car, or about any other aspect of the murder, contact detectives on the non-emergency 101 number.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously through the independent charity, Crimestoppers, by phoning 0800 555 111.

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