PROPERTIES linked to the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in South East Antrim have been seized by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The alleged UDA member who owns the homes has agreed to pay the organisation £120,000 after an investigation found they were bought using the proceeds of crime.
The NCA secured a civil recovery order for the £120,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, it was revealed today.
The investigation, carried out by NCA financial and tax investigators working as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF), relates to residential properties owned by the alleged member of the paramilitary group, his partner and associates.
The NCA alleged that the properties, which are located in the Carrickfergus area, were purchased using the proceeds of illegal money lending, mortgage fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
An NCA spokesperson explained: “As a result of the investigation the defendants decided not to contest the case and agreed to pay a cash figure to settle.
“An order was granted by Belfast High Court on 15 January.
“They will now have six months to sell their properties and hand over the money.”
NCA Branch Commander David Cunningham added: “The order we have obtained following our investigation is for a sizeable sum, and it demonstrates the NCA’s commitment to pursue assets obtained through unlawful activity, and denying criminals the proceeds of their crimes.
“As part of the PCTF we will continue to use the tools provided under the Proceeds of Crime Act to prevent those involved with paramilitary organisations from making financial gain from their activities.”
The Police Service of Northern Ireland, HM Revenue & Customs and the National Crime Agency established the PCTF to tackle criminality linked to paramilitary activity as part of the Executive's action plan on Tackling Paramilitary Activity, Criminality, and Organised Crime.