09/10/2001

Police and Customs Officers congratulated

Security Minister and Chair of the Organised Crime Task Force, Jane Kennedy, has paid tribute to the police and customs on their recent success in joint operations to tackle organised crime in Northern Ireland.

Both Crown forces, in joint operations, seized four million duty free cigarettes hidden in a lorry full of Christmas decorations near Dungannon, while in Belfast, 30,000 litres of illegal fuel was intercepted.

The Security Minister said: “As a result of other operations, police seized cannabis resin with a street value of over half a million pounds – the biggest find ever in the north west.

“Also at Belfast International Airport customs seized over 200,000 cigarettes which were abandoned by passengers after a planned search of baggage.

“The police and customs have shown a real determination to tackle head on the scourge of organised criminality in Northern Ireland.

“Although there is no quick fix we continue, by co-operation between Government and these agencies, to counter the threat that organised crime poses to communities and the economy in Northern Ireland.”

The creation of the Organised Crime Task Force was announced by the then Secretary of State Peter Mandelson in September 2000.

Task force members include HM Customs & Excise, National Criminal Intelligence Service, RUC, Criminal Justice Directorate (NIO), Organised and International Crime Directorate (Home Office), Policing and Security Directorate (NIO), and other Government Agencies. (MB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 May 2019
8.1% Of NI Youths Out Of Work
16,000 young people in Northern Ireland aged between 16 and 24 are not in employment, education or training (NEET), it has emerged. The Labour Force Survey, released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) found that 8.
13 June 2003
Paramilitary involvement in crime is 'rife'
A report on organized crime in Northern Ireland has said that paramilitary involvement in local criminal groups is rife, with their activity casting a shadow over the province’s economy.
22 May 2002
Five released on police bail after fraud swoop
Police have released five men on police bail after a major fraud swoop on premises throughout Northern Ireland yesterday. The Organised Crime task Force unit smashed a multi-million pound fraud ring centred on Northern Ireland's construction industry on Tuesday.
21 May 2019
Police Warning After Drink Drive Collision
Police in Magherafelt have slammed those who choose to drink and drive following a collision in County L'Derry. The incident happened at around lunchtime on Monday 20 May in Straw, a small village just outside Draperstown. A "clearly drunk driver" crashed and rolled his vehicle, causing a "needless waste" of police resources, an officer explained.
09 February 2005
Crime task force called on to 're-double' efforts
Secretary of State Paul Murphy has said it is essential that efforts are re-doubled in order to build on the successes of the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) over the past year.