The Paramilitary Crime Task Force welcomes the sentencing of Brian Gillan at Laganside Magistrates Court on Friday 4 September.
Detective Superintendent Rachel Shields said: “Mr Gillan was sentenced to 10 months in custody and 20 months on license for blackmail. He also received a 5 year Serious Crime Prevention Order. Today’s sentencing is the result of a long and complex investigation by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, NCA and HMRC. It should send a clear message to those involved in extortion – we will vigorously pursue those responsible to bring them before the courts to face the consequences of their actions.
“The blackmailing of business owners or in fact anyone, is totally unacceptable. The only people who stand to gain are those doing the blackmailing. They are exploiting those who chose to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
“Business owners not only provide employment for the community, they also contribute to the local economy.
Without their input into society everyone suffers.
“We need to do everything we can to stop this now and I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone who believes they or their business are the subject of extortion to contact officers at the Paramilitary Crime Task Force on our 101 non-emergency number. We want to hear from you and, as this sentence demonstrates, where we can secure evidence of these suspected offences we will take action.”