17/10/2019

Pair Arrested Amid INLA Probe

Two men, aged 57 and 19, have been arrested by detectives probing INLA criminal activity in the North West.

The operation on Wednesday was linked to an incident in the Divis area of Belfast on 20 May, when shots were fired into the air in a heavily populated area.

Police said the 57-year-old was arrested under the Terrorism Act in the Galliagh area of L'Derry, while the 19-year-old was detained under the Terrorism Act and the Misuse of Drugs Act in Strabane.

Both were taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite, where the older suspect remains in custody. The 19-year-old was later released pending a report to the PPS for the offences of collecting information likely to be used for terrorism and being concerned in the supply of Class A and Class B controlled drugs.

Three searches were carried out on Wednesday, with a number of items seized for further examination including a large quantity of documentation, mobile phones and electronic devices.

The PSNI's Paramilitary Crime Task Force continues to target the INLA due to the level of threat, risk and harm they pose to local communities and the breadth and depth of their criminality.
News Image
Detective Inspector Tom McClure said: "INLA in the North West are involved in violence, extortion and the supply of controlled drugs, illicit cigarettes and counterfeit goods and this strand of the investigation looks to take action against those directing this criminality and money laundering.

"The INLA in Derry/Londonderry and Strabane claim to be protecting their communities by shooting people who they accuse of being involved in crime but the reality is that they use violence and intimidation to control and exploit their communities. Their real motivation for using extreme brutality is to try and ensure that no one speaks out or encroaches on what they see as 'their patch', where they try to run organised criminal rackets solely for their own financial gain. Sometimes they even shoot people who they feel do not show them 'respect' or who they simply do not like."

The PSNI offered assurances that all reports of crime and anti-social behaviour will be investigated lawfully, fairly and proportionately, and where there is evidence it will be brought before the courts.

Inspector McClure added: "I would appeal for anyone with information regarding criminality by paramilitary organisations to contact police on 101. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."



(JG/MH)

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

14 November 2019
Pair Arrested In Lisburn Over West Belfast Arson
Police have made two arrests over an arson attack in west Belfast that caused damage to a number of businesses. The 32 year-old man and 27 year-old woman were detained on suspicion of arson in Lisburn this morning, Thursday 14 November.
30 October 2019
Cystic Fibrosis Drugs To Be Made Available In NI
Life-saving drugs for the treatment of cystic fibrosis are to be made available in Northern Ireland. The Department of Health confirmed its intention to strike a deal for the supply of Orkambi and Symkevi to eligible local patients. The move follows a similar agreement in Scotland last month and with NHS England just last Thursday, 24 October.
13 November 2019
CF Drugs To Be Available Within Weeks
Clinicians will begin prescribing life-changing drugs to local Cystic Fibrosis patients in a matter of weeks, the Department of Health has confirmed. Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco will be made available through a deal with manufacturer Vertex Pharmaceuticals which follows similar arrangements in England and Scotland.
13 November 2019
Parents Urged To Turn Engines Off Outside Schools
Parents and guardians of school age children in Co Down are being urged to turn their car engines off while outside schools in a new council initiative. The first of its kind in Northern Ireland, 'Engine Off- Prevent The Cough' was launched by Ards and North Down Borough Council and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) last week.
11 October 2017
Four People Arrested After Drugs Found In Co Fermanagh
Four people have been arrested following a drugs search at a property in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Three men, aged 19, 24 and 27 and a 22-year-old-woman were detained after police discovered Class A drugs during the search of a house in the Ashdale area.