Drugs seized in searches linked to suspected east Belfast UVF criminality

£80,000 worth of cannabis was seized at an address in east Belfast on Thursday. Credit: PSNI

Police investigating suspected drugs criminality linked to the east Belfast UVF have seized Class A drugs and £80,000 worth of cannabis during search operations.

The Paramilitary Crime Task Force and the PSNI's Organised Crime Unit carried out searches in Dundonald and east Belfast on Thursday.

Suspected cocaine and drug dealing paraphernalia were seized at a property in the Dundonald area.

Meanwhile, suspected cannabis worth an estimated street value of £80,000 was found alongside suspected diazepam worth an estimated £2000, a number of fireworks and £2400 in cash in east Belfast.

Detective Inspector Hamilton said: “Today’s search operation was part of a proactive investigation into suspected drugs criminality linked to the east Belfast UVF.

"The PCTF will continue to robustly and proactively pursue these drug criminals who hide behind the guise of paramilitaries. They style themselves as defenders of their communities, when in fact they prey on vulnerable members of society and exploit them to make a profit from the harm caused by illegal drugs. “We will continue to listen to the public and act on the information they provide us, to target those criminals, involved in the sale and supply of illegal drugs at every opportunity.

"I would encourage members of the community who may have information that could assist our efforts, to please get in touch. We will listen to you and we will act on information you provide. "

You can call 101, or submit an online report using a non-emergency reporting form.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.