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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Submachine gun and assault rifles seized during major PSNI investigation into INLA criminality
Gardaí also carried out a search in Co Donegal in which illicit cigarettes and other items were seized.

SMG110619 PSNI A submachine gun seized during the major search operation in Derry today PSNI

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have seized two assault rifles and a submachine gun in relation to an investigation into INLA criminality, while gardaí carried out a search in Co Donegal. 

Detectives from the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit, supported by local police officers in the Derry area carried out a major search operation in the fight against paramilitary crime.

In total, seven searches were carried out under the Terrorism Act.

Two assault rifles and one submachine gun were seized in relation to an investigation into INLA criminality. 

As well as the weapons, a quantity of Class B drugs, counterfeit clothing and DVDs, approximately £13,000 in cash, phones, tablets, documentation, over 7,000 illicit cigarettes and a quantity of hand-rolling tobacco (HRT) were also seized.

Two men aged 44 and 43 were also arrested and are currently in police custody assisting detectives with their enquiries.

Rifle1110619 PSNI One of the assault rifles seized during the major search operation in Derry today PSNI

Rifle2110619 PSNI The second assault rifle seized during the major search operation in Derry today PSNI

A further search was carried out in relation to the investigation in the Derry area, led by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers and supported by PSNI. 

Gardaí also carried out a search in Co Donegal in which around 60,000 illicit cigarettes, a large quantity of tobacco, a large quantity of counterfeit clothing, DVDs and other items including money were seized.

Commenting on the operation, PSNI District Commander, Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: “Weapons like the ones seized today pose a threat to everyone and anyone who brings guns onto our streets does not care about our community.

When a gun is fired there is no guarantee where the bullet could end up or who it could harm and the people of our city have seen the damage and devastation that this can cause.

McCalmont noted that “many INLA members are also involved in a range of criminal money-making rackets including the supply of controlled drugs, blackmail, extortion and money laundering”.

cigarettes110619 PSNI A quantity of illicit cigarettes and tobacco seized during the major search operation in Derry today PSNI

“Furthermore, the INLA are heavily involved in the supply of counterfeit goods and illicit cigarettes and whilst the supply of these items may seem like victimless crimes, profits made from the sale of these items can help to fund INLA terrorism and criminality which brings misery and harm to the local community,” McCalmont said. 

Through working closely with HMRC, An Garda Síochana and other partners, we will continue to tackle paramilitarism.

Anyone with information regarding criminality by paramilitary organisations are acted to contact the PSNI on 101. 

Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to UK Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  

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