A seaside holiday home in County Down believed to have been purchased with the proceeds of fraud and money laundering offences has been frozen as part of an ongoing National Crime Agency civil recovery investigation.
NCA officers in the Paramilitary Crime Task Force obtained a Property Freezing Order at Belfast High Court on Monday (5 June) over the static holiday home in Ballyhalbert.
The purchaser, whose family are believed to be senior members of South East Antrim UDA, will now be prevented from selling or transferring ownership of the property while the NCA investigation continues.
The holiday home will be recovered if the court decides it has more likely than not been paid for with the proceeds of crime.
NCA Head of Asset Denial Rob Burgess said: “The investigation into the source of funds used to purchase this holiday home is part of our ongoing work to tackle and disrupt paramilitary crime groups.
“Our specialist team of financial investigators, working closely with partners in the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, will continue to use civil recovery powers to target anyone engaged in organised crime.
“We will use all the tools at our disposal to identify and recover criminal assets no matter how well they have been hidden.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Hill said: “This is an excellent result for our partner in the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, the National Crime Agency; and an example of how the freezing of criminal property can hugely disrupt the criminal activities of a paramilitary group.
“The Paramilitary Crime Task Force will continue to work with our partner agencies. We remain robustly committed to tackling and disrupting the coercive control and criminal activities of those who seek to make their living from crime.
“This Property Freezing Order, which is linked to the South East Antrim UDA, demonstrates our ongoing effort to rid communities of the harm these groups cause and of their coercive control.”
Anyone with any concerns about criminality in their local area to contact the police on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org.
8 June 2023