Drug-dealing loyalist paramilitaries are running riot in east Belfast and engaging in a shocking litany of crimes with little interference from the PSNI, according to a report drafted by the paramilitaries themselves.
According to the internal report, the east Belfast UVF have engaged in murders, the kidnappings and torture of rivals, the rapes of vulnerable and underage girls, and the exploitation of drug abusers leading to six overdose deaths.
One gangster named is alleged to have carried out five sex attacks, including one that led to the victim taking her own life.
There has been no PSNI response so far to the publication of the document by the Sunday World, despite admitting to a serious crimes including the 2019 street slaughter of father-of-two Ian Ogle, the ongoing intimidation of his family and the shooting of 24 year-old old local woman Jemma McGrath in 2013.
According to the document, the gang has also attempted to purchase new machine guns and is maintaining a cache of powerful plastic explosive.
One east Belfast leader was described as “out of control” and involved in murders and drug dealing, and other members were said to be using a powerful date rape drug for gang rapes, one of which led to the victim taking her own life.
The unusually critical document prepared for the UVF leadership accuses the east Belfast faction of carrying out the “destruction” of their own community which it says has been left “fearful, resentful and significantly poorer” by the gang.
The local community was “living in fear” of the UVF in the area while crime bosses were “raking in a fortune” in profits –– and all with minimal attention from the PSNI.
An example of the ongoing intimidation in the area this week saw a single mother and her three young children forced out of their new home after coming under threat.
The family had only moved into their new flat a few weeks before facing intimidation from paramilitaries. Despite being Polish, the family’s Catholic religion was enough for them to be targeted.
Last week, an Irish-language nursery school was forced out from the area due to a similar campaign.
Sinn Féin’s Deirdre Hargey condemned the latest threat, which she described as “cowardly and despicable”.
“There can be no place for threats of any kind in our society, or for armed criminal gangs who would threaten children. They need to go away once and for all,” she said.
“There should be no place for sectarianism, threats or loyalist paramilitaries, all should be products of the past and rightly condemned and challenged by all. Our children deserve better.”