NI: Properties seized by paramilitary crime task force under Proceeds of Crime Act

NI: Properties seized by paramilitary crime task force under Proceeds of Crime Act

A number of properties in Northern Ireland have been seized by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers, working as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF), following a High Court order.

Judges in Belfast yesterday granted a civil recovery order by consent under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in respect of properties with an estimated value of £650,000, all owned by 41-year-old Co Down man Gerard Kane.

They were three business units, two lock-up garages and four apartments located in the Whitewell Road area of Newtownabbey, and a further three apartments in Duncairn Gardens, Belfast.

The NCA alleged that the properties were acquired with the proceeds of mortgage fraud and money laundering.

NCA senior manager Billy Beattie said: “Civil recovery and tax powers play an integral role in the work of the PCTF.

“This result demonstrates that our financial investigators will find and recover the proceeds of crime, no matter how carefully they have been hidden over the years.

“Our message is clear. We will relentlessly pursue those in our communities who are engaged in criminal activity and take away their illegally-gained assets.”

The NCA, Police Service of Northern Ireland and HM Revenue & Customs 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.

PSNI detective superintendent Zoe McKee, head of the PCTF, said: “Through the sharing of resources, and a targeted approach, we can ensure that benefits from the proceeds of criminal activity are not realised.

“Together as a team and through working with communities, we can continue to jointly tackle paramilitary activity, criminality and organised crime and ensure communities thrive.”

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