‘First of many’ properties seized by paramilitary crime unit

A task force set up to combat paramilitary crime in Northern Ireland has secured its first Property Freezing Order.

Jan 16, 2018

A task force set up to combat paramilitary crime in Northern Ireland has secured its first Property Freezing Order. Belfast High Court has granted an application for the order under the Proceeds of Crime Act to lawyers representing the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF). The property, in Newtownabbey, can no longer be sold or have its value dissipated while the ongoing Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation continues. The PCTF was set up last September by the PSNI, National Crime Agency (NCA) and HM Revenue and Customs to tackle criminality linked to paramilitarism. The unit is part of the Stormont Executive’s plan on tackling paramilitary activity, criminality and organised crime. NCA branch commander Billy Beattie said: “Civil recovery investigations will play an integral role in the work of the PCTF. “These powers are a strong tool in preventing those engaged in criminal activity from benefitting financially or materially from it.” Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton, head of organised crime for the PSNI, said: “This shows the strength of the three agencies working together, and is the first of many such actions.”

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