24 April 2006

UDA thug gang blight sparks IMC probe call

Sunday Life

23 April 2006

THE Independent Monitoring Commission has been urged to investigate the re-emergence of a notorious criminal gang linked to the UDA.

At a time when the loyalist terror group has declared it is turning its back on criminal activity and cleaning up its act, the gang is back in business in the Co Down village of Killyleagh.

Gang members, claiming to represent the UDA, have visited a number of homes in the area, ordering people to get out.

And in spite of the claims that the UDA is going straight, loyalist sources who contacted Sunday Life claim the gang continues to be involved in gangsterism.

"People are astonished. These people are straightforward criminals, in it for their own gain. They have never served a day in prison for the loyalist cause," said one.

The gang gained notoriety in 2004 when it carried out a campaign of pipe-bombins - long after the UDA had declared an end to attacks.

SDLP MLA Margaret Ritchie said: "The people of Killyleagh are peace-loving and it is wrong that this type of terror is going on. There can only be one type of community policing and that is the community assisting the police to ensure those responsible are apprehended.

"If the UDA are involved, it places a question mark over the validity of the UDA ceasefire.

"Chief Constable Hugh Orde and Lord Alderdice's Independent Monitoring Commission should be investigating these issues."

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