Authorities detained two men involved in criminal activities associated with East Belfast Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
In-Depth Probe into Criminality Involving East Belfast Ulster Volunteer Force
Due to the collusion of the East Belfast Ulster Volunteer Force with drug dealing, eight of its leaders were already removed. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) arrested two men as part of an investigation concerning drugs and money laundering. They were incarcerated after search operations in East Belfast and Newtownards, County Down.
The 20-year-old man was arrested due to alleged drug and money laundering criminal delinquencies. He was seized with a “considerable amount” of cocaine, herbal cannabis worth £15,000 approximately and some cash. He was freed on bail for further enquiries.
The 51-year-old man, on the other hand, was accused of several drug offences. He was also charged with possessing class drug A to supply dealers. On December 12, he will appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court.
We will continue to work with communities and partners to disrupt those involved in criminal activity, and I would appeal to anyone with information or concerns about illegal activity, or anyone with any information that can assist our investigations, to call police,” said PSNI Detective Inspector Maguire.
For several decades East Belfast UVF has been linked to serious crimes, including drug dealing. The PSNI has been targeting the group and made the arrests after the group leadership’s withdrawal. The paramilitary group’s central hierarchy ordered the action revealed during a few Remembrance Sunday events.
Knowing the Paramilitary Group
East Belfast UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) refers to a branch of the UVF in Northern Ireland. Established during heightened tensions known as “The Troubles,” originally as loyalist paramilitaries opposed to Irish republicanism and supportive of maintaining Northern Ireland as part of the UK. Initially, the group emerged in 1966 and has remained relevant ever since.
The group’s first leader, Gusty Spence was a former British army soldier. The group was involved in an armed campaign for almost 30 years during the Troubles. They declared a truce on April 1, 1994. It officially ended its campaign, but some members continued to use violence. The United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the United States have classified the group as a terrorist organisation.
East Belfast is a geographic region within Belfast in Northern Ireland, while East Belfast UVF is a specific unit or faction within this UVF that operates there. Throughout the Troubles, paramilitary groups from both sides were engaged in acts of violence, bombings and other forms of terrorism as part of their fight.
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