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crackdown £25K drugs seizure linked to UVF as PSNI recover £1.3m of drugs in last fortnight

The UVF-linked drugs were seized in the Beersbridge area of the city

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Detective Superintendent Zoe McKee at PSNI headquarters at Knock Road Belfast Pic Pacemaker

Detective Superintendent Zoe McKee at PSNI headquarters at Knock Road Belfast Pic Pacemaker

Detective Superintendent Zoe McKee at PSNI headquarters at Knock Road Belfast Pic Pacemaker

The PSNI have delivered another blow to the UVF after drugs linked to the East Belfast crime gang were discovered early this morning.

Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Paramilitary Crime Task Force, investigating suspected drugs criminality linked to the loyalist mob, carried out a search of a property in the Beersbridge area of the city.

During the search a quantity of suspected cocaine and cannabis, with a combined estimated street value of £25,000, was recovered, along with cash and paraphernalia associated with the supply of drugs.

A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A and B controlled drugs, possession of Class A and B controlled drugs with intent to supply, and possessing criminal property. He remained in custody last night.

Detective Inspector Maguire said: “The possession and supply of drugs within communities should not, and indeed will not, be tolerated.

“Today’s arrest, and drugs’ seizure, reflects our ongoing commitment to safeguarding local people.

Just five months ago officers investigating criminal activity linked to the East Belfast UVF seized £350,000 worth of suspected cocaine.

Earlier police revealed they recovered over £1.3m of illegal drugs in just over two weeks as part of Operation Dealbreaker targeting drug misuse in Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland gave an update on Tuesday to report the progress of the crackdown.

Detective Superintendent Zoe McKee said: “In July of this year the Police Service of Northern Ireland launched Operation Dealbreaker – a multi-stranded, coordinated, collaborative operational approach to address every aspect of drug misuse across Northern Ireland.

“At the launch, I said that we would continue to do all we could to prevent and detect as much drug related activity as possible, be that importation, supply, possession, or financial gain resulting from drug related criminality, and proactively work to break criminal drug dealing networks to prevent harm to local communities.

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Drugs on display at  PSNI headquarters at Knock Road Belfast on Tuesday. Pic Pacemaker.

Drugs on display at PSNI headquarters at Knock Road Belfast on Tuesday. Pic Pacemaker.

Drugs on display at PSNI headquarters at Knock Road Belfast on Tuesday. Pic Pacemaker.

“As part of Operation Dealbreaker we also worked alongside our Border Force colleagues in the interception of packages containing suspected drugs that were sent through the postal system.

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DS McKee continued: “The devastation experienced as a result of drug misuse is cross cutting and impacts people’s lives at every level in Northern Ireland. The activities of these individuals and crime gangs is a demonstration of harm at its highest. They are only interested in control, money and lifestyle and will often prey on those who most need and deserve our help.

“As a Police Service, through Operation Dealbreaker, we will continue to take a co-ordinated, consistent and multiagency approach, supported by partners within the Organised Crime Task Force to break the supply and demand chain.

She concluded: “I believe the public hold the ace card. I believe there are people who have information about who the drug-dealing criminals are. I believe local people know the harm they are causing within local communities. I believe everyone can play a critical part in our DEALBREAKER activity. “I am making a direct appeal to anyone with information about the illicit supply, possession or misuse of drugs. Please call police in confidence on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online.”

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