Documents, computers, phones and cash seized in east Antrim anti-crime operation

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Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force executed a series of search warrants on four properties in the Carrickfergus, Ballycarry and Larne areas today.

The searches, led by the National Crime Agency, related to civil recovery investigations being undertaken by the PCTF under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and were undertaken with a view to identifying recoverable or associated property.

Documents, computers, and mobile phones were seized and will now be examined. At one property in Ballycarry around £6,000 cash was also seized. There were no arrests.

NCA branch commander Billy Beattie said:“We are clear that we are determined to prevent those engaged in criminality from benefiting financially from their actions, and the civil recovery powers that the NCA brings to the PCTF are a powerful tool in that regard. Those involved in criminal acts should know that we are not just after them, but also their money.

“In respect of the searches carried out today, our investigations will continue with the material that we have seized.”

PSNI’s Head of Criminal Investigation Branch, Detective Chief Superintendent Tim Mairs said: “Today’s action demonstrates the strength of the three agencies working together as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force and their commitment to tackling the abuse of these vibrant communities by the criminal individuals and groups.

“We would encourage anyone with information to contact the police on 101 or alternatively information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

The PSNI, HM Revenue & Customs and the National Crime Agency have established the PCTF to tackle criminality linked to paramilitary activity as part of the Executive’s action plan on Tackling Paramilitary Activity, Criminality, and Organised Crime.