The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) is facing an organised crime investigation, police said.
A senior PSNI officer declared that the loyalist group was still heavily involved in gangsterism.
Careworker Jemma McGrath was badly injured in a recent shooting in east Belfast which has been blamed on the organisation.
Assistant chief constable Drew Harris said: "The UVF very clearly yes have involvement in drug dealing, all forms of gangsterism, serious assaults, intimidation of the community.
"They are subject to an organised crime investigation as an organised crime group."
Ms McGrath, 24, was shot in the lower abdomen, left arm and both legs during the savage assault at a property in east Belfast last month.
The UVF was blamed for a killing on the Shankill Road in 2010 despite decommissioning weapons a year earlier.
During the 30-year conflict, it murdered more than 500 people and more recently has been linked to intra-loyalist feuding and involvement in a flags dispute which injured many police officers during fierce riots.
The completion of a new loyalist paramilitary mural which has replaced one of football legend George Best has cast a "sinister shadow" over east Belfast, it has been claimed.