Belfast Telegraph

Dee Stitt’s home raided in crackdown on UDA by anti-terror police

By Rebecca Black

Prominent loyalist Dee Stitt has said that his house was hit by the PSNI "with a vengeance" yesterday as officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force carried out raids across Co Down.

Three searches took place under the Misuse of Drugs Act at residential properties in Bangor and at a nearby commercial property in the operation.

A man was cautioned at the scene, while a second man will be interviewed by police at a later date.

Officers seized a number of items including class B drugs, a computer hard drive, mobile phones and Taser.

In a tweet last night, Stitt (47) said: "PSNI task force hit my house today with a vengence - we're here for five hours.

"Got nothing only my families' mobiles and kids iPads. No drugs or guns found here.

"Trial by media continues. I stand to defend my name and family. I can do no other."

A PSNI Detective Inspector described the operation as "directed against the North Down UDA".

"A small amount of class B drugs, a computer hard drive, mobile phones and a Taser stun gun have been recovered," he added.

"An adult male will be interviewed at a later date with another male cautioned at the scene, with a report to the PPS to follow."

The Paramilitary Crime Task Force is a joint group that includes police, HM Revenue & Customs and National Crime Agency officers.

It aims to tackle criminality linked to paramilitarism as part of the former Executive's action plan on Tackling Paramilitary Activity, Criminality, and Organised Crime.

Stitt, a convicted UDA armed robber, has previously said that his paramilitary days are behind him. He served a five-year prison term in the 1990s.

He is now chief executive of the Government-funded Charter NI group in east Belfast.

He was recently in the news after Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir repeated claims initially made in 1988 that loyalist killer Michael Stone was assisted by the RUC when he launched his deadly attack on mourners at the funeral of the Gibraltar Three on March 16 of that year.

Stitt said Stone - who he served four years in jail with - had no help, and in fact got the bus into Belfast before mingling with mourners on the walk to the cemetery.

"There was no collusion, he was a lone guy, he did it himself," he claimed.

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