14 April 2006

UDA divided over expulsion of spendthrift members


14/04/2006 - 09:04:09

Tensions are high within loyalist factions in the North, after the UDA has failed to come to a decision on the fate of two north Belfast brothers.

All but two sections of the organisation want to expel Ihab and Andre Shoukri but a meeting last night failed to make any ruling.

The half-Egyptian brothers are holding out against other UDA members who want to desist from drug-dealing, extortion and blackmail.

Court evidence was given during a bail hearing that Andre Shoukri spent three quarters of a million pounds in one north Belfast bookmakers last year.

Their spendthrift lifestyle has increased tension within the UDA with all but its North Belfast and South East Antrim units wanting them expelled.

Attempts to oust them, however, have so far failed with loyalist sources predicting possible violence unless the issue is settled quickly.

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