Crime-desk round-up..

Busy couple of days for the police here. Yesterday three arrests were made as £700,000 was seized in what is described as the largest cash seizure under the Proceeds of Crime Act in an investigation into money-laundering in the Newry area. Today sees 7 9 arrests in an ongoing operation in Craigavon, County Armagh, where a ‘suspicious object’ is now being examined. And, while we wait to hear a statement from the Social development minister on the funding of that UPRG project, there’s a report of shots fired in an attack on a house in Carrickfergus which the local mayor, DUP’s David Hilditch, believes to be linked to the UDA feud. Adds The UPRG’s Frankie Gallagher is blaming a third element – “This situation has been created by a criminal third element in opposition to ongoing talks and mediation to resolve any dispute between south east Antrim and the UDA.” And the ongoing operation in Craigavon – “Like all policing operations it is intelligence-led.”

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  • Ian

    From yesterday’s BT Editorial:

    “Quoting UDA sources, [the UPRG’s Frankie Gallagher] said that if this was how they were treated when they had guns, how would they be treated without them?”

    If Margaret Ritchie does transfer the funding from the UDA’s pet project to other, more reliable schemes that aren’t backed up by a paramilitary ‘army’, then there’s your answer, Frankie.

    However, I fully expect that if that does happen, then the organisations through which the money is re-directed will probably end up being the next targets for the UDA’s extortion methods.

    So the UDA will probably get their money in the end anyway (at the expense of the loyalist communities whom this money is supposed to benefit, of course).

  • ladysnowblood

    What organisation ,if any, was behind the ownership of the £700.000?

  • Ian

    A couple of other thoughts:

    Regarding the current debate over what channel should be used to deliver funding to deprived loyalist communities – could this be a Trojan horse to distract attention from the principle that funding should be distributed on the basis of objective need (a principle which should see funding targeted to deprived republican communities as a higher priority in some cases)?

    And with Minister Ritchie receiving death threats because of her threat to withdraw the funding to the CTI, has the thin veneer of respectability covering the scheme (the notion that this whole business is anything other than large-scale extortion of the Government by the UDA) finally been stripped away?

  • notasluggerfool

    When will Minister Ritchie please pull the plug? what more does she need?

  • Ian

    Pete:

    “The UPRG’s Frankie Gallagher is blaming a third element…”

    Would that be the ‘Ugly’ UDA?

    If this thread had a soundtrack it would be ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ by Ennio Morricone.

  • joeCanuck

    A threat a day keeps who? away.

  • Ian

    (Which is from the soundtrack for ‘The Good, the bad and the Ugly’, in case anyone is wondering.)

  • Ian

    Actually, it’s a shame Danny Morrison isn’t a spokesman for the UPRG, as this would be a great tagline to the whole affair:

    ‘Ecstasy for Danegeld’ – a stirring composition from ‘The Good, the bar and the Ugly UDA’ by Dannio Morrisone.

  • Tkmaxx

    I dont think that anyone is under any illusion that Margaret Ritchie wants stop the funding. Illegal guns being used by members of an illegal organisation to carry out illegal actions. How could anyone justify the funding. The DUP needs to face up to some realiity here as its rumoured that a senior DUP Minister wants to overrule Ritchie. If that is true -let them -she should withdraw funding and let the DUP give it it back. It would be hilarious to listen to any sensible debate on law and order from the DUP after that! They obviously got themselves on a self imposed hook because they thought they may need UDA support for the elections but the reality is that mainstream unionist opinion is with Ritchie not the DUP. If Ritchie ran in South Down in the morning -she would walk it. Sinn Fein is silently supporting the DUP but even they know mainstream nationalist opinion is with Ritchie too. Strange for SDLP to have captured the popular mood for a change!

  • Ian

    Obviously that should have read ‘Bad’ not ‘bar’.

  • Matalan

    Dont know what about The good the bad and the Alexander Bar UDA

  • Ian

    Indeed, I was thinking about ‘Reverend Good, the Alexandra Bar and the Ugly UDA’, but I thought it a little unfair.

    Whilst Rev. Harold Good did make a rather naive intervention, he isn’t the worst of the recent clutch of UDA apologists by any means.

  • Matalan

    So who looks after the UDAs weapons? the ones they wont decommission because a man armed with a UDA gun shot at a house last night and neither faction claim to be responsible.
    During the ‘war’ wasn’t that some sort of punishable office. I see a tar and feather incident coming on mobile phones at the ready people photo opportunity.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Matalan: “So who looks after the UDAs weapons? the ones they wont decommission because a man armed with a UDA gun shot at a house last night and neither faction claim to be responsible. ”

    Claiming responsibility for attacks on Catholics / Republicans allowed for bragging right, Matalan… nowadays, there is no credit to be gained for shooting up Loyalist neighborhoods, y’know, the ones they are alleged to have “defended” for all these years.

    I suspect that decomissioning is a touchy subject since the provenence of a number of their weapons. Too much information on who got what from where and it could be sack-cloth and ashes all the way around.

  • Twelve Monkeys

    Bus hijacked and set on fire in Craigavon, 2 cars collide while Police scramble to close roads off, 50+ Police in riot gear and shields protecting bus and moving into Nationalist Drumbeg estate for the second time today.

    update
    Car hijacked and burnt at entrance to Drumbeg, crane still trying to remove bus with heavy Police protection, numerous roads in area closed off while stone throwers attack Police, I guess the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly hasn’t a fkin clue how the people of Drumbeg (really) feel after a day like today.

  • True Republican

    RSF CONDEMN CRAIGAVON RAIDS

    The Royal Ulster Constabulary launched a full-scale assault in the Craigavon area of County Armagh. The raids – executed ostensibly to deal with Republican activity in North Armagh – commenced at approximately 5:30a.m. Nine people were arrested and are currently being interrogated at the so-called “Serious Crime Suite” contained within Antrim RUC Barracks.

    Richard Walsh – a member of the Ard-Chomhairle of Republican Sinn Féin and PRO for Comhairle Uladh (Ulster Executive) – said that Republican Sinn Féin had learnt that the British Colonial Police went out of their way to assault and harass those present, and to damage property. “Cutters were used to enter houses without giving the occupants any opportunity to answer their doors. A pensioner was knocked down a flight of stairs, and a pregnant girl was locked in a cold room. The girl had to be hospitalised as a result of her ordeal at the hands of the RUC, and our thoughts are with her at this time. Searches were also carried out on children’s toys and nappies, and a pond was drained and excavated – killing all the fish living in it. One-hundred copies of the Republican Movement’s monthly newspaper, Saoirse, were also seized.”

    He added that, contrary to claims in the media that the British military presence had been scaled down, low-flying helicopters were continuing to fly throughout the night, harassing the local community with search-lights.

    Mr. Walsh also criticised the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly for remarks she had made in the aftermath. “Ms. Kelly should be advised that it is the actions of people like herself which are putting people at risk. She is a renowned British propagandist and an apologist for the British forces of Occupation. Each time the Nationalist population of North Armagh are attacked by the RUC and their cohorts she launches into a tirade against those who believe in the right to National self-determination.

    “Dolores Kelly does not believe in due process even under the auspices of her beloved foreign British law. On every occasion she seeks to imply ‘guilt’ on the part of those arrested, despite the fact that they are often subsequently released and certainly have not been convicted of having engaged in any action proscribed by the English government.”

    He added that “the actions of her friends in the British Crown Forces will only increase the resolve of all true Republicans to finally expel the British from our country. These are the forces that are engaged in serious terrorist crime in Ireland.”