Belfast Telegraph

Police use new powers to seize cash from dissident republicans

The PSNI have for the first time used new powers to forfeit money that was believed to be in the hands of violent dissident republicans.

It follows the seizure of £3,500 by officers investigating suspicious activity in Derry-Londonderry last September.

Superintendent Mark McEwan, the District Commander, said: “When it was seized, we believed the money was in the hands of a proscribed organisation known as the ‘New IRA’.

“We know that these people are involved in criminality that creates harm and suffering in our community. This legislation gives us a tool to help us tackle illegal activity.

“It means that money that may have been used to buy guns and explosives to attack members of the community, including police officers, has been taken out of circulation.

Antrim Crown Court was told today that a claim by an individual to contest the forfeiture had been dropped.

This was the first time police in Northern Ireland have used powers under the Crime and Security Act 2001 to forfeit cash in these circumstances.

Money seized under the legislation is retained by the Treasury, with a portion being allocated to the PSNI.

Supt. McEwan added: “Police can use this money for specific operations to combat crime and criminality and to keep people safe.

"It cannot, for example, be used to buy police equipment.”

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