Northern Ireland

NCA obtains freezing order for holiday home ‘linked to South East Antrim UDA’

The National Crime Agency has obtained a freezing order for a Co Down property (Nick Ansell/PA)
The National Crime Agency has obtained a freezing order for a Co Down property (Nick Ansell/PA)

A freezing order has been issued against a holiday home in Co Down as part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into the South East Antrim UDA.

The NCA said the property in Ballyhalbert is believed to have been purchased with the proceeds of fraud and money laundering offences.

NCA officers in the Paramilitary Crime Task Force obtained a Property Freezing Order at Belfast High Court on Monday over the static holiday home.

The static holiday home in Co Down (NCA/PA)

The NCA said the purchaser’s family are believed to be “senior members of South East Antrim UDA”.

The property cannot be sold or ownership transferred 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.”