'Freezing order' placed on plot of land in Co Armagh as National Crime Agency probes £100k sale

The National Crime Agency obtained a High Court order in Belfast.

The National Crime Agency has obtained a freezing order for a plot of land in County Armagh as part of an ongoing civil recovery investigation.

A Property Freezing Order was granted to the NCA at Belfast High Court on Monday as it is suspected the land, in Blackwatertown, was purchased for £100,000 using money obtained from fraud and money laundering offences.

The order will prevent anyone from selling or transferring ownership of the land while the investigation continues into the source of the funds used to make the purchase. If unlawful conduct is found, the NCA may seek the recovery of the land. NCA regional head of asset denial Rob Burgess said: “The NCA works to tackle organised crime gangs at all levels in order to frustrate, disrupt and ultimately dismantle them. “Our civil recovery powers play an integral role and we are committed to working closely alongside partners in the Joint Agency Task Force to prevent those engaged in criminal activity from benefitting financially from their illegal actions. “We will continue to use these powers to pursue the assets of criminals, no matter how carefully they have been hidden.” Detective Superintendent Emma Neil, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Branch, added: “Working with our partner agencies, we are committed to tackling and disrupting the activities of organised crime groups. “These groups use whatever means possible – from drug dealing to money laundering – to line their own pockets and, sadly, it’s often at the expense of the most vulnerable members of our society. “This is an excellent example of working in partnership. We’re also grateful for the support of local people, and would appeal to anyone with information, or concerns, to contact us on 101.”

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