Ex-UDA chief Andre Shoukri falls out with loyalist group over drugs patch row

Shoukri has returned to prominence in recent years after a long spell in the shadows

Andre Shoukri

Richard SullivanSunday World

Career criminal Andre Shoukri is on collision course with South East Antrim UDA after muscling in on their drug dealing patch.

The one-time UDA boss is believed to have set up shop in a bar in the greater Carrick area from where he is running a drug dealing operation.

The Sunday World understands he is a regular in the establishment and has already has a steady stream of customers.

It is a significant step for the man once dubbed the ‘Bookies Brigadier’ who has returned to prominence in recent years after a long spell in the shadows.

His return has not been welcomed by rival gangs.

Last summer he ignited a feud with north Belfast hood Alan McClean.

The pair were once close but a furious McClean vowed revenge after the shooting of his friend Dean Rice, who was shot in the back after being lured to a meeting in Belfast’s Westlands estate last June.

But now Shoukri is likely to fall foul of South East Antrim (SEA) UDA.

Beleaguered terror boss is already under pressure as SEA’s one-time impregnable drug dealing network has been diminished by an influx of outside crime gangs.

The return of one of the most notorious UDA leaders of the recent past will set alarm bells ringing.

Sources have told us Shoukri has no intention of moving on to Fisher’s patch but SEA will regard his close proximity as a challenge.

“It is inevitable Andre will take business from SEA,” one source told us.

“He remains popular and he has a reputation.”

He also has a ruthless side and sources have claimed he sanctioned the attempted murder on Rice last summer.

It was revealed Shoukri’s gang initially wanted to shoot McClean Jnr, but they backed off because of former LVF drug dealer Duffer Kincaid, who has access to guns he obtained during burglaries at the homes of legally held gun-owners.

Kincaid once led the LVF in north Belfast but now focuses on his lucrative drug empire, working closely with McClean.

In the immediate aftermath of the attempted murder of Dean Rice, both the Shoukri and McClean mobs accused the other of selling heroin in a deliberate plot to blacken the names of those involved in the drugs feud.

Both Shoukri and McClean, who was best pals with Andre’s deceased brother Ihab, had to flee the Westland 15 years ago after being targeted by the North Belfast UDA.

The pair relocated to the Rathcoole estate and Carrickfergus under the protection of South East Antrim UDA leader Gary Fisher. However, when the UDA in north Belfast fell apart they could not resist the lure of returning to their old stomping grounds and their lives of crime.

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