THE POLICE SERVICE of Northern Ireland has used new powers for the first time to forfeit money they believe was “in the hands of violent dissident republicans”.
It follows the seizure of £3,500 (about €4,475) by officers investigating suspicious activity in Derry last September.
Superintendent Mark McEwan, the District Commander, said: “When it was seized, we believed the money was in the hands of a proscribed organisation known as the New IRA.
“We know that these people are involved in criminality that creates harm and suffering in our community. This legislation gives us a tool to help us tackle illegal activity.
It means that money that may have been used to buy guns and explosives to attack members of the community, including police officers, has been taken out of circulation.
Antrim Crown Court was today told that a claim by an individual to contest the forfeiture had been dropped.
Money seized under the legislation is retained by the Treasury, with a portion being allocated to the PSNI.
“Police can use this money for specific operations to combat crime and criminality and to keep people safe. It cannot, for example, be used to buy police equipment,” McEwan added.