Killer ‘anti-drug’ gang heads west

By Staff Reporter

A CRIMINAL gang that extorts North Belfast drug dealers while claiming to oppose them has started to spread its tentacles into West Belfast.
Action Against Drugs (AAD) had until recently operated almost exclusively in the North of the city, particularly the New Lodge area. They are widely believed to have been responsible for the murder of Danny McKay in the Longlands area in October 2012. At the time of the murder they went under the name Correct Action Against Drugs but the word ‘Correct’ was dropped when a member was caught with a statement in his pocket naming the group.
AAD is now looking West and already has some of the most notorious criminals in the district helping them with their expansion. According to our source, the group is also taking advantage of a depleted Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), which has been hit hard by police successes and defections. The attempted expansion is raising tensions among ‘dissident’ republicans both here and in North Belfast.
AAD has tried to brand itself as a pro-community gang targeting drug dealers in a bid to keep the community safe. But in recent times it has become apparent that the gang are targeting dealers who don’t pay them money and allowing others who do pay up to deal freely. Their republican credentials are widely discredited in the North of the city where they are viewed as just another criminal gang out to make money for themselves.
As tensions between AAD and armed gangs in the North of the city rise, there is also evidence that ONH has lost a number of members across the city, including West Belfast, to AAD. ONH have taken a succession of heavy blows in recent times with the arrest and detention of a number of their high-profile members and the leakage of other members to AAD is putting the group under significant strain in the city.
“There is no doubt that AAD is a North Belfast group and the heartbeat of the gang is in and around the New Lodge,” said our source, “but they have become bullish and are looking to expand and have already made connections in West Belfast.”
One notorious West Belfast criminal is now tied in to the group and is helping them compile a dossier of names and addresses of the most active drug dealers in this part of the city.
“He will tell them where to go and who to deal with, being a criminal he knows that world and knows where easy money can be made and easy money is the name of the game with this group. The weakened position of the ONH in Belfast has not gone unnoticed by them either and they are gaining members across the city from ONH.
“All of these groups are desperately competing with each other and they will go to any lengths to stay on top of the game, that includes criminality, which just dispels the myths that they are either republican or acting on behalf of the community.”
Another worrying development in the underworld is news that key players on the drugs scene have now entered the market in illegal firearms. We’ve been told that the drugs importers are now smuggling Glock automatic pistols in with their drugs and selling them on for £4,000 – or £4,500 with a silencer.
The 9mm Glock has long been a favourite the world over with drug gangs – and ironically also with law enforcement agencies – as its plastic moulded construction makes it extremely light. It is also very hard-wearing, requires minimum maintenance and is one of the most reliable automatic handguns on the market.
“The guns are coming in with the drugs,” said our source, “and are being sold on by the importers to dealers. They’re being sold for under five grand – not a lot of money to these drug dealers. It’s a fairly unsettling development because of course more weapons means more danger to the public.”

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