'vaxholes' | 

Covid-scoffing anti-vaxxer loyalist Kyle Vauls scooped in PSNI raid targeting UDA

Vauls has previously taken to social media and has described the Covid crisis as a 'staged pandemic'
Muscle-bound mobster Kyle Vauls was one of five loyalists scooped in a series of raids by special cops investigating North Antrim UDA

Muscle-bound mobster Kyle Vauls was one of five loyalists scooped in a series of raids by special cops investigating North Antrim UDA

By Steven Moore

Muscle-bound mobster Kyle Vauls was one of five loyalists scooped in a series of raids by special cops investigating North Antrim UDA, we can reveal.

Vauls - previously described as the leader of the UDA in north Antrim - was later released "following questioning", according to the police.

Two people have subsequently been charged with terrorism offences.

And despite his North Antrim UDA unit coming under increasing pressure from the authorities, Vauls calmly took to social media to lambast the government - not for targeting loyalists but for introducing vaccine passports!

Vauls - who was also arrested in 2014 and quizzed about UDA violence but also again released without charge - is a rabid Covid-sceptic and anti-vaxxer.

Muscle-bound mobster Kyle Vauls was one of five loyalists scooped in a series of raids by special cops investigating North Antrim UDA, we can reveal. Vauls - reportedly the leader of the UDA in north Antrim - was later released "following questioning" according to the police though two people have been charged with terrorism offences

Muscle-bound mobster Kyle Vauls was one of five loyalists scooped in a series of raids by special cops investigating North Antrim UDA, we can reveal. Vauls - reportedly the leader of the UDA in north Antrim - was later released "following questioning" according to the police though two people have been charged with terrorism offences

Throughout the pandemic the 47-year-old has targeted government ministers with derogatory comments and referred to the Covid crisis as a "staged pandemic".

He claims Covid is nothing worse than cold or flu and shockingly claims Health Minister Robin Swann "should be charged with crimes against humanity" for putting "thousands of our loved ones and family members on death row".

He describes people "bragging" about being vaccinated as "vaxholes" and despite having his collar felt by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) last week, he was soon back complaining about the vaccine passport announcement, describing it as "tyranny".

One of Kyle Vauls' anti-vax rants

One of Kyle Vauls' anti-vax rants

He posted that vaccines were "killing people" and it's an infringement of people's freedom to "force and coerce" the public into having them.

Kyle Vauls was previously arrested in 2014 and quizzed about the shooting of a 15-year-old schoolboy. He was later released without charge.

Man mountain Vauls - a successful power-lifter and body-builder - seized the reins of power of the UDA in the Coleraine area in 2013, according to sources, after it emerged veteran loyalist 'Brigadier' Billy 'The Mexican' McFarland had been ousted in a bloodless coup.

Vauls is said to have played a pivotal role in getting rid of McFarland after voting to oust him at a tense meeting at the time.

McFarland was summoned to a meeting in the Waterside area of Derry where he was presented with a dossier of complaints against him and his leadership.

They included financial mismanagement of UDA funds, doing business with republicans and taking protection money from expelled members.

During a second meeting two weeks later commanders from the area covered by the brigade voted to give McFarland the boot.

It's understood McFarland was furious with his former commanders, but he was particularly disappointed with Vauls who he regarded as his favourite and most reliable brigadier.

This week's operation was conducted by PSNI officers from the PCTF.

Detective Chief Inspector Brennan described the arrests as "part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of those who we suspect have been engaged in a range of violent incidents including multiple shootings, assaults and incidents involving the use of explosive materials, which had the potential to cause loss of life.

"Those people who are involved in this type of dangerous and life-threatening criminality, where they are using weapons or unstable explosive items in often heavily populated residential areas, put entire communities at risk.

"These individuals will remain a priority for the Paramilitary Crime Task Force due to the violent human rights abuses they carry out on members of their local communities.

"We will continue to work with our partners and communities across north Antrim to relentlessly tackle the scourge of criminals who use the threat of violence in an attempt to coercively take control of people's lives."

The Paramilitary Crime Task Force swooped on a number of addresses in Ballymoney, Limavady and Coleraine and detained the five individuals - four men and one woman.

One of those shootings they were investigating, it emerged this last in court, was the attempted murder of Celtic fan Paul Fleming almost exactly a year ago.

He was shot in the head at close range through the front door of his Coleraine home and his family told the Sunday World he was attacked for supporting Celtic and was millimetres from being murdered.

The woman arrested last week, 52-year-old Jennifer Lennox from Carnany Avenue in Ballymoney, was charged with firearms and terrorist offences after her DNA was uncovered on a balaclava police believe was used by the gunman in the attack on Fleming.

Limavady Magistrates Court heard that while more than 100 rounds of ammunition and around 50 balaclavas were found at Lennox's home on Monday, two masks dating back from last year were retrieved - along with a handgun and double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun - in a backpack hidden in a hedge by a man running away from the scene of the murder bid on Paul Fleming.

Police say bullets found in her house were the correct calibre to have been used in the handgun found alongside the shotgun in the discarded backpack.

Lennox claimed a man, who she didn't wish to identify, came to her home two years ago and asked her to store "some items".

She claims her DNA was found on a balaclava found in the backpack used in the Fleming murder bid because she had been asked to sew the mouths of the balaclavas shut and had sewn black patches into around ten of them.

Last week Limavady loyalist David James Bond, from Anderson Park, was charged with possessing a shotgun and two cartridges with intent to endanger life and under suspicious circumstances and possessing a handgun without a certificate on November 15 this year.

During a hearing at Ballymena Magistrates Court, the 51-year-old claimed the homemade "slam fire" shotgun had been given to him and he'd intended to bury it in a hole while police also believe they can connect him to two hoax bomb alerts from last November.

The 43-year-old man arrested as part of the PCTF investigation was released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

With regards to Vauls' arrest, a PSNI spokesperson said: "Two men aged 38 and 47 years old arrested by officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) investigating the suspected violent criminal activity linked to North Antrim UDA in Coleraine were released following questioning. The investigation remains ongoing."

steven.moore@sundayworld.com


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