The PSNI say a 45 year old man has been charged with attempted possession of a prohibited weapon.
He is due to appear at Derry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, December 19, for a first remand hearing.
As is normal procedure, all charges will be reviewed by the PPS.
The charge is in relation to an arrest by detectives investigating paramilitary activity in connection with the INLA in Derry on Wednesday, December 5.
He has also been reported to the PPS for possession of Class C controlled drugs with intent to supply and possession of criminal property namely cash.
Police also say a 40 year old man arrested yesterday the same day by detectives investigating paramilitary activity in connection with the INLA has been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service for the offences of possession of Class C controlled drugs with intent to supply and possession of criminal property namely cash.
A 57 year old woman also arrested as part of the probe by detectives investigating paramilitary activity in connection with the INLA has been released unconditionally.
People arrested under the Terrorism ACt 2000 cannot be released on bail.
During the operation agains the INLA in Derry and Strabane, police seized 36,000 illegal cigarettes and 5 kilos of illegal tobacco.
Police say officers also seized counterfeit DVDs, CDs along with fake clothing and footwear from three shops.
Detective Inspector Tom McClure of the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit said: “These operations are further evidence of PSNI’s continuing commitment to tackling Paramilitarism. INLA in Derry and Strabane claim to be protecting their communities from crime.
“However, in reality they themselves are heavily involved in a wide range of criminal money-making ‘rackets’ including extortion, supply of controlled drugs, counterfeit goods and money laundering.
“As well as taking a cut from alleged local drug dealers (known locally as ‘pay-to-stay’) they are also supplying controlled drugs themselves.
“INLA use brutality, threats and fear to exert control in their local communities and they recently carried out a paramilitary style shooting of a man for having a minor altercation with INLA members.
“We also believe they are heavily involved in the importation and supply of illicit cigarettes into the North West and for this reason we requested HMRC’s assistance for yesterday’s operation.
“I am very concerned that all ten shops visited yesterday in the area were found to have illicit cigarettes on their premises.
“Retailers who stock and sell illicit cigarettes to the public should think carefully about the potential implications upon conviction.
“They and customers who knowingly purchase illicit cigarettes should also be aware that they may be indirectly funding INLA terrorism and criminality which brings misery and harm to local communities, all for their own selfish gains. I would like to thank our partners in HMRC for their assistance with this operation.
“We are committed to bringing those involved in the criminality associated with Paramilitarism before the courts and we know that the communities most affected by these parasites support our ongoing efforts.
“I would appeal for anyone with information regarding criminality by paramilitary organisations to contact police on 101. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”
A 56 year old male was also arrested on Wednesday by HMRC for ‘Fraudulent Evasion of Duty Chargeable On Goods’ in respect of 19,800 illegal cigarettes seized from one of the shops in the Galliagh area of Derry.
He has subsequently been released pending report to the Public Prosecution Service.
Steve Tracey, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Working together in partnership with other enforcement colleagues we can target the criminal gangs who are stealing from the taxpayer, robbing public services and undermining legitimate, honest traders.”Tags: