Very early days in this story and no charges have been filed yet – nor is there an indication of the extent of SOCA’s involvement – but the arrest of Brian Arthurs, described in the BBC report as a prominent republican [and as an PIRA army council member in this 2005 Times report – Ed], following a number of searches in the Armagh and Dungannon area this evening in connection with an investigation into organised crime have prompted this familiar response from Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast Alex Maskey.. who is soon to be a member of the Policing Board
Sinn Fein policing spokesperson Alex Maskey said the PSNI operation was “unacceptable and heavy handed”. “I have this evening contacted the British government to complain about the nature of this arrest operation,” he added.
[not the Police Ombudsman? – Ed]