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UVF chief Rainey told his patch now belongs to The Russians

NewsBy Richard Sullivan
Eddie 'Onions' Rainey
Eddie 'Onions' Rainey

The UVF has been dumped by an international organised crime gang.

The loyalist terror group in south Belfast has become a major casualty of an east European gang dubbed The Russians.

The outfit which specialises in high grade cocaine and heroin distribution also run a major people trafficking and prostitution racket.

Having previously relied on the terror group for ‘protection’ The Russians have simply got too big and the UVF in south Belfast no longer serve a purpose.

The Sunday World understands the Russians have cut off the supply line of Grade A drugs to UVF chief Eddie ‘Onions’ Rainey which had been part of the protection deal.

The move is like to cause a major conflict in the south of the city. 

Rainey and partner in crime Eddie ‘The Bully’ Ewart have already moved on and are sourcing drugs from criminal elements outside Belfast.

Ewart, hated by many within the organisation and kicked out of the UDA for alleged involvement in drugs, is now the driving force in south Belfast UVF.

Rainey is boss in name only, but he remains up to his neck in the drugs trade, and it is understood he has already sourced a new supply route. However he is fighting a losing battle as the gear he is offering is of such inferior quality to what The Russians offer he faces financial meltdown.

Rainey and Ewart made so many enemies over their partnership with the foreign gang they face total isolation.

Onions has been involved in a personal feud with a long established UVF family because of their opposition to The Russians, who even offered the services of a professional hit man to take out anyone opposed to the new regime.

The Russians now regard the Village and Donegall Pass areas as their territory.

After first being uncovered by the Sunday World almost two years ago, the international gang, made up largely of Latvian and Lithuanian nationals has been establishing a controlling interest in Belfast’s drug market.

The gang has been selling high quality cocaine and heroin across the city since moving north from their primary power base in Dublin.
In recent months they have also been selling highly addictive and potentially deadly crystal meth.

Rainey formed a partnership with the Russians, despite serious opposition from within the organisation. In return for allowing them to operate without interference they supplied Onions and his pals with high quality drugs.

Another element of the arrangement excluded the Russians from the loyalist heartland but now the rules have changed.

The terror chief who has developed a significant cocaine habit of his own, now faces the prospect of the foreign gang taking complete control of his own backyard.

 

It is also understood the Russians are now using locals to help them distribute drugs. Up until recently they used a rotating army of runners almost entirely made up of foreign nationals and parachuted into Belfast from Dublin.

 

Well-placed sources say the gang has now spread its operations into east Belfast and is looking to form alliances with criminal gangs in north and west Belfast which will bring them into direct conflict with dissident linked outfits, including Action Against Drugs.

The Russians have already established a foothold in  mid Ulster.

Large amounts of cash are used to buy up houses some of which are utilised as brothels. At least two were operating in the Village area of Belfast with others believed to be on the Lisburn Road and in the west of the city.

Many of the working girls have been trafficked into the Province with the promise of a new life only to be forced to courier drugs before being press-ganged into the sex industry.
Police have had limited success in tackling the threat posed by the Russians. In May this year Gintas Vengalis, first unmasked by the Sunday World as a major figure in the gang was one of two men jailed  for possession Class A drugs.

The second, Roman Michailov was described as a ‘runner.’ Vengalis was first pictured posing with a machine gun, part of an arms cache imported by the Russians which included handguns and grenades.

There are now fears Northern Ireland has became lucrative option for international organised crime gangs.