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Police investigate possible link between car wash arson attacks in Carrickfergus and Ballyclare

By Ricky Thompson

Published 25/05/2015

The owner of two County Antrim businesses which were set alight on Sunday night says his life is threatened every day and he's been targeted multiple times before.

The arson attacks took place at two car washes, in Carrickfergus and Ballyclare overnight.

The first incident in the Marine Highway area in Carrickfergus was reported to police shortly after 11.30pm Sunday night.

Minor damage was caused to a toilet room but the fire did not spread.

In the second incident, on Main Street in Ballyclare, extensive damage was caused to four water pumps while a green Renault car was also set ablaze behind the property.

The owner of the businesses, Fatos Cufaj, said he has been targeted before:"The damage I see, they've burned everything up. The damage here is very high and I know who done it. Everybody knows who it is.

"In Ballyclare there's over £20,000 damage. The pumps and machines were new but it's not the first time they targeted my businesses. Ten times they have targeted me. I don't feel safe - I am threatened with my life every day.

"Me and my four children come from Albania and we come to make a life but my life is threatened everyday."

The 46-year-old, who runs ten businesses here, said that despite being targeted repeatedly, he is determined to move forward: "I will never give up. They can target me every night but I will never give up and I'm going to be stronger every day."

Police are appealing for witnesses following the attacks.

Detective Sergeant John Caddell said: “Police are investigating to identify if there are any formal links between these incidents and are appealing to anyone with any information that may assist the investigation to contact Neighbourhood Officers in Ballyclare and Carrickfergus on the non-emergency number 101.

"Information can also be passed anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

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