Belfast Telegraph

Ford praises recent Organised Crime Taskforce successes

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford has praised the efforts of law enforcement agencies in the fight against organised crime in Northern Ireland.

Highlighting two of the most recent significant operations he called on the public to provide any information they have about crime to the police or through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In August cannabis plants were uncovered by police in Greyabbey with an estimated street value of £500,000. Three people have been charged in connection with this seizure.

On Wednesday 4 September HMRC also dismantled an illegal fuel factory in Mayobridge capable of laundering 24 million litres of diesel a year. There was one arrest.

Justice Minister and Chair of the Organised Crime Taskforce (OCTF), David Ford said: “Those involved in organised crime need to be aware that law enforcement agencies are working closely with each other, and with their counterparts across the border, to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice.

“Organised crime is a blight on our society and there is no doubt that the proceeds are used by crime gangs to fund further misery. The welfare of our society is the last thing on their minds.

“I appeal to the public to be watchful and to report any suspicious activity so that we can put the perpetrators before the courts.”

The end of August saw the closure of the Department of Justice’s consultation aimed at making unduly lenient sentences for excise evasion on fuel and tobacco referable to the Court of Appeal. The Department is considering the responses and hopes to announce the way forward shortly.

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