Belfast Telegraph

PSNI crackdown on UDA: Four arrested - uniforms and steroids seized

A two-day PSNI crackdown on the UDA has seen four men arrested and number of items including uniforms and drugs seized.

The operation was carried out by the PSNI's Paramilitary Crime Taskforce into the activity of the West Belfast UDA.

While the operation focused on the activity of the West Belfast UDA, the 13 searches were carried out in the north Belfast, Holywood and Portadown areas.

Four men aged 24, 32, 34, and 36 were arrested under terrorism legislation during the searches in north Belfast on suspicion of membership of the UDA, a proscribed terrorist organisation.

The individuals were questioned at Musgrave Serious Crime Suite, with two of the men - the 34-year-old and 36-year-old - being released pending a report to the PPS for the offence of membership of a proscribed organisation.

The 36-year-old will also be reported to the PPS for the offence of being concerned in the supply of Class C drugs. The 24-year-old and 32-year-old remain in custody at this time.

During the searches paramilitary uniforms and associated paraphernalia including badges, flags and UDA ties were found.

Steroids and cannabis were also discovered, as well as mobile phones, tablets, a gun holster and ammunition.

Speaking about the raids, Detective Inspector Heather Whoriskey said: "We will continue to target all paramilitary groups and disrupt their illegal activities which only serve to blight the communities they operate in. These people prey on the most vulnerable members of their communities and try to control them by using fear and violence.

"The PSNI is committed to disrupting their activity and we are working hard to rid our communities of the paramilitary groupings but we need your help.

"I understand that people feel afraid to speak out against these paramilitaries, but police need information from local people – as we will act on information we receive. It may not always be visible and immediate but please be assured that every piece of information is assessed and acted on."

Anyone with any information about paramilitary activity can contact the PSNI on 101, or independent charity Crimestoppers can be reached anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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