26 March 2006

IRSP denies criminality


(Seamus McKinney, Irish News)

The IRSP and INLA in Derry have issued statements denying any involvement in criminality in the north west.

In a statement issued through the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), the INLA said none of its members was involved in money laundering or criminality in Derry or Inishowen.

It follows 18 police searches in the city and north Co Derry on Wednesday which sources said were designed to break INLA money laundering and crime rings.

Both police sources and members of the IRSP confirmed that most of the premises searched belonged to people with links to the party.

But in yesterday's (Thursday) statement, the INLA said none of its members in Derry were involved in any form of criminality.

It also said that far from being involved in criminality, it was the INLA who brought a wave of house break-ins in Inishowen in Co Donegal to an end last year.

A spokesman for the INLA's political wing, the IRSP, also said the republican socialist movement rejected any allegations of criminality.

"This is part of the British government's criminalisation policy," he said.

Following Wednesday's searches, a spokesman for the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch said officers were investigating organised criminal networks and those who "perpetrate frauds and facilitate the laundering of illegal cash".

"The message we have been sending out and will continue to send out is that crime does not pay."

March 26, 2006

This article appeared first in the March 24, 2006 edition of the Irish News.

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