ARA swoop on £5 million of Loyalist's assets

The Assets Recovery Agency seems to be getting into its stride since restrictions on its purview were lifted recently. Focus so far seems to have been almost exclusively on chasing Loyalist assets. Nigel Dodds comments that “…there is massive amounts being gained through money laundering, fuel laundering, through smuggling, racketeering and so on, on the republican side as well as the loyalist side.”

  • beano

    Not that I don’t welcome the recovery of any money from criminals, but yet again it happens to be a loyalist! *shocker* At least it’s a living one this time.

    With the little money that’s been recovered coming from loyalists it makes me wonder if the ARA are afraid to take on republican criminals too, or are the loyalists just not as good at it?

    When I heard it on Newsline this morning “The ARA have seized a large sum of money” my immediate reaction was “About 26 million’s worth?”

    Ever the optimist.

  • Davros

    Focus so far seems to have been almost exclusively on chasing Loyalist assets.

    Makes sense. The RM is in turmoil. Why destabilise it further ? It can be house-trained via politics, with this option kept in reserve. The loyalists, on the other hand, are not vulnerable to political pressure.

  • slug9987

    “Makes sense. The RM is in turmoil. Why destabilise it further ? It can be house-trained via politics, with this option kept in reserve. The loyalists, on the other hand, are not vulnerable to political pressure.”

    One law for loyalists and a different law for republicans is not justifiable on equality terms. It would be very damaging if it were thought that republicans can’t be subjected to the law because it fosters sympathy. The state has to exercise its moral authority through punishment on an equal basis. Appearances to the contrary are damaging to that moral authority.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Hate to cut into a good old unionist mope but I can’t say that I know any republican living in the palatial surrounds similar to the house in Glenavy.
    During all the media frenzy over the Mc Cartney killing the ‘senior IRA men’ involved seemed to live in typical working class homes in the Strand.

  • Alan

    I welcome ANY recovery of assets. It doesn’t surprise me that more sophisticated organizations take longer to break.

    One issue I’d like cleared up is the use of the recovered assets. In GB and Scotland I understand up to 50% of the recovery can go to community schemes for improving security for pensioners etc. All we’ve heard so far is that the ARA gets funding from this.

    I hope all of our DPPs are chasing this crucial funding as it begins to come on line. That would be some compensation for the money that was beaten, extorted, robbed and otherwise fraudulently acquired from ordinary people.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “Hate to cut into a good old unionist mope but I can’t say that I know any republican living in the palatial surrounds similar to the house in Glenavy.”

    How many houses does Gerry Adams have again ?

    Great job there by the ASA. The BBC reports Alan McQuillan saying that the reason why loyalists tend to get targetted more is because they are doing most of the drug dealing and republicans are not. Interesting to hear a law enforcement official defending the provo record on staying away from the drugs business in a climate where the police are being accused of using black propaganda to try to damage the republicans; food for thought for Sinn Fein.

  • Davros

    I can’t say that I know any republican living in the palatial surrounds similar to the house in Glenavy.

    Well that answers one question – You ain’t mixing with the “right sort ” of people Pat. LOL

    There’s some monuments to opulent vulagarity that have been built along the border if the pictures I have seen are to be believed.

  • Davros

    One law for loyalists and a different law for republicans is not justifiable on equality terms.

    Same law Slug, but as with any law there is flexibility with pursuance and enforcement. “Equality” would only be an issue if the loyalists and the republicans were behaving similarly – they aren’t.

  • slug9987

    “Same law Slug, but as with any law there is flexibility with pursuance and enforcement. “Equality” would only be an issue if the loyalists and the republicans were behaving similarly – they aren’t.”

    You mean one is specialised in crime and the other is is more diversified? Well I don’t see that this justifies an unequal approach. Sounds like political expediency – the moral authority of the state in its punishment role is undermined.

  • beano

    “I hope all of our DPPs are chasing this crucial funding as it begins to come on line.”

    As a government agency, the ARA probably costs as much to run as it actually recovers, still I’d rather see it pay people for a days work (even if that days work is spread over a week for civil servants) than in the pockets of criminals.

  • Davros

    The way I see it Slug is that these laws aren’t about the criminal profits, they about leverage to facilitate the move towards democratic politics. Thus as the RM is considerably closer to deomocratic politics there is less leverage needed.

  • slug9987

    “The way I see it Slug is that these laws aren’t about the criminal profits, they about leverage to facilitate the move towards democratic politics.”

    Do we actually want loyalist armed groups to be levered into politics? I don’t think so.

    Why is the recovery of these assets good for our society? For the usual reasons why a state must punish criminals. Retribution and deterrence.
    Both are needed. The state cannot be seen to pursue some law breakers and not others. That is very bad for the legitimacy of the institutions.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    I, like yourself and many others have seen the monumments to opulent vulgarity that you refer to. But I don’t know who owns them.
    In North Belfast (the only area I am really familiar with) republicans who even own their own homes are the exception rather than the rule

  • Davros

    Isn’t this one of the problems within the RM at the moment Pat ? The PBI are getting diddly while the elite are in hog heaven. It’s certainly reported as a cause of tensions.

  • mucher

    What does LOL and PBI mean? How about a glossary of terms for us beginners?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Not sure about the elite being in hog heaven Davros. One of the people named as the elite and connected to the Mc Cartney case lives in a house in the area. No palace of opulent vulgarity.

    Also, haven’t heard the tensions story before.

  • J Kelly

    It is being reported on UTV that the guy at the centre of the investigatin is a former peeler. Another bad apple in the barrel.

    http://www.utvinternet.ie/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=58249&pt=n

  • Davros

    LOL = Laughs Out Loud.
    PBI = Poor Bloody Infantry. Ie indians as opposed to chiefs.

  • barney

    Maybe Davros, or any cranky RUC/PSNI apologist, would care to refute my theory that the ARA is being used to house train the peelers.

  • Davros

    My comment : your theory is silly.

  • barney

    “My comment : your theory is silly.”

    But unlike yours, mine has the benefit of being supported by the facts. A move from the PSNI to full time drug dealing might seem pretty logical to people of a certain work ethic. Hence the need for the ARA. I hope it deters others who may be similarily tempted.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I applaud any attempt by the A.R.A. to halt the immoral substantial gains enjoyed by so-called “loyalists”, but I have misgivings about their work and intentions!

    I am a political loyalist and feel that loyalism has a lot to offer the Northern Ireland political arena…if only the British Government would stop paradoxically criminalizing us, but politicising Republicanism, which is blatantly seen in, among other things, the work of the A.R.A.!

    I think loyalists deserve better than once a year tours around our areas by the Ulster Unionist Party’s candidates, canvassing for votes they do not deserve. The DUP and Gregory Campbell, our MP, are seen to work hard for us and our interests, but we need more working-class councillors who will really listen to the loyalist grassroots!

  • mucher

    Cheers Davros!

  • DerryTerry

    From the outside looking in it seems that many Loyalists who indulge in criminality are only too anxious to display their wealth through the big cars, flash jewellery, swank holidays and palaitial homes they have come to love. As such the ARA don’t have to try to hard when following the money. I don’t know how accurate a picture this is but there does at times seem to be an air of the Sopranos pervading Loyalism, and particularly young Loyalism that for me was summed up the Andre Shourki.

    Republicans, on the other hand, are clearly not motivated by personal profit and the vast majority of them that i know in Derry are to be found in the working class communities they come from, not a big house in Cultra.

  • DCB

    The loyalists are also a little bit stupid with not only flaunting it but also failing to take proper financial advice.

    What are they doing owning things in their own or their associates names in the first place.

    Far better to set up a bearer share company and have that company amas all your wealth. You keep the bearer share in an off-shore safety deposit box and no-one will be able to trace you to your assets.

    Eventually they may change the law so as they can go after beneficial ownership but until then you would be fine.

    Alternativly they could leverage up their assets so that when the police come knocking they will get the debt obligations.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “I am a political loyalist and feel that loyalism has a lot to offer the Northern Ireland political arena…”

    Loyalists don’t. They cynically use their political fronts to try to hide or cover up their real purpose which is criminality. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that your only loyalty is crime.

    “if only the British Government would stop paradoxically criminalizing us,”

    Then stop dealing drugs, knocking over post offices and shooting people.

    “but politicising Republicanism, which is blatantly seen in, among other things, the work of the A.R.A.!”

    Um, did you hear about that bank robbery and who was being blamed for it ?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    barney, um the need for the ARA is the same as the need for the UK proceeds of crime task force which is the same as the need for the Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin. Depriving criminals of their assets.

    It’s working tremendously well.

  • Impractical Observer

    Am I missing something here?

    I would have thought that the focus on loyalist terrorists by the ARA could only be construed as a bias against those living in republican areas, and not the other way around??

    Is it not better for a community not to have these gangsters around???

  • Jacko

    “I am a political loyalist and feel that loyalism has a lot to offer the Northern Ireland political arena…”

    Besides the hands outstretched and give-us-more-money endless whine, care to elaborate on the political contribution that we’re all missing out on?