Source: CNN
Date: 28 October 2003

Drugs 'link to N.I paramilitaries'

By CNN's Eden Pontz

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Police in The Netherlands and Northern Ireland say they have seized hundreds of thousands of ecstasy pills believed bound for a paramilitary group in Northern Ireland.

In a bust outside Amsterdam late Monday, Dutch Police, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the Police Service of Northern Ireland Drugs Squad joined together, seizing three quarters of a million ecstasy tablets valued at more than $5 million, authorities said.

Two Dutch nationals were arrested after police entered a house outside Amsterdam.

Additionally, police confiscated three weapons and bulking agents for cocaine in the joint operation.

It was believed the tablets were destined for Northern Ireland.

Drugs squad officers in Belfast had been investigating trafficking links with the paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force, and believed them to be involved.

In a written statement, police in Northern Ireland said this operation formed part of an on-going investigation into drug dealing activities by the LVF.

Police added the LVF had been linked to a number of major ecstasy seizures in Northern Ireland and a recent cocaine haul in Lurgan.

The LVF issued its own statement saying: "The recent media hype linking the LVF with a major seizure of drugs in the Lurgan/Lisburn areas and the unfounded allegations that this drug haul belonged to, was owned by, or was controlled by the LVF is without foundation or fact."

It went on to say: "Severe retribution and actions will now be taken against those persons for using our name. We will not tolerate or permit those persons or anyone else to bring our name into disrepute."

PSNI Drugs Squad officers said they believe that this European wide police operation has had a major impact on the drugs manufacture and supply route to the LVF.

"Dateline NBC" produced an hourlong show two years ago featuring Huson and his business.

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