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PSNI investigating links to east Belfast UVF as suspected cannabis worth £150,000 is seized

A man in his 30s was arrested and remains in custody.
£150,000 worth of cannabis was recovered

£150,000 worth of cannabis was recovered

Clodagh Meaney

Officers from the PSNI’s Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) are investigating suspected drugs criminality linked to East Belfast UVF.

It comes as they carried out a search of a property in East Belfast on the evening of Friday November 26th.

During the search a quantity of suspected cannabis with an estimated street value of £150,000 was recovered.

A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested on suspicion of possession of class B controlled drugs and possession of class B controlled drugs with intent to supply and remains in custody at this time.

Detective Inspector Maguire from the PCTF said seizures of harmful class A and B controlled drugs in East Belfast show the force’s commitment to tackling drugs supply in the area.

“[It’s] a serious community and health issue which the public have asked us to focus on.

“Paramilitary organisations who bring drugs into our communities don’t care about the inevitable pain and heartache they cause.”

“Whilst they claim to protect the communities they coercively control, in reality they are criminals whose only concern is financial gain, with no thought for the lives that get destroyed along the way,” he said.

“With the continued help and support of the public, we are committed to removing drugs from our streets and putting those responsible before the courts. I would appeal to anyone with information, or concerns, about the use or supply of illegal drugs or paramilitary crime in their area to contact us on 101.”

It comes as the Paramilitary Crime Task Force clamp down on drug activity in the area.

Two men aged 28 and 41 were arrested and charged in connection with two separate drug seizures linked to the east Belfast UVF on Wednesday November 24th.

An estimated £180,000 of drugs were seized in Dundonald and on the M1 after a vehicle was stopped.

In May of this year, the PSNI dealt a major blow to the UVF when £350,000 worth of suspected cocaine was seized during a raid linked to the gang, at a property in east Belfast.

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