Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force investigating violent criminal activity linked to the North Antrim UDA, have released photographs of a suspected home-made firearm, ammunition, cash, multiple mobile devices and suspected illegal cigarettes seized following a series of searches carried out in the Ballymoney, Limavady and Coleraine areas, earlier today (Monday 15 November).
Over 50 balaclavas were recovered and a vehicle seized for examination. The five people arrested earlier today remain in custody for questioning.
Detective Chief Inspector Brennan from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force said: “We believe the weapon and ammunition recovered are similar to those used in recent shooting attacks against members of the North Antrim community. The seizure has undoubtedly frustrated the activity of individuals who attempt to control communities through intimidation and fear of violence.
“Today’s operation is part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of those who we suspect have been engaged in a range of violent incidents including multiple shootings, assaults and incidents involving the use of explosive materials, which have caused grave injuries to a number of people and had the potential to cause loss of life.
“Those people who are involved in this type of dangerous and life-threatening criminality, where they are using home-made weapons or unstable explosive items in often heavily populated residential areas, put entire communities at risk. These individuals will remain a priority for the Paramilitary Crime Task Force due to the violent human rights abuses they carry out on members of their local communities.
“We will continue to work with our partners and communities across North Antrim to relentlessly tackle the scourge of criminals who use the threat of violence in an attempt to coercively take control of people’s lives. Together we can tackle this.
“I know that communities want to live in peace without the threat of being innocently caught up in the activities of violent criminals. I would encourage anyone with information that could assist in our efforts to contact us on the non-emergency number 101.”
Alternatively, a report can be submitted online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org