30 October 2003 Edition

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LVF drugs captured in the Netherlands

A drugs haul of more than 750,000 ecstasy tablets with a street value of around £8 million, destined for the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), was seized outside Amsterdam by Dutch police before it could be transported to the Six Counties.

The seizure, believed to be the largest involving drug trafficking to the North, is the second major success against the unionist paramilitary group in less that a week.

In addition to the ecstasy tablets, three weapons and bulking agents for cocaine were also discovered.

Two Dutch people were arrested during the operation.

PSNI drugs squad officers believe the European wide operation has had a major impact on the drugs manufacture and supply route to the LVF.

The Dutch find came hours after the LVF issued a statement insisting claims that the organisation was involved in drug dealing were without foundation or fact.

In the statement, the loyalist death squad accused individuals and other groups of having brought its name into 'disrepute' by using it as a cover for drug trafficking and dealing.

The LVF was linked to the Six Counties' largest cocaine seizure last Thursday, when more that £1 million worth of the drug was recovered in searches in Lurgan and Lisburn.

Conrad Litter (33) from Barbor Lodge in Hilden, Lisburn, appeared in court on Saturday 25 October charged with possessing the drugs with intent to supply. On Friday 24 October, David Willis (47) from James Street in Portadown, who admitted transporting £2.3 million of cocaine and ecstasy for the LVF, was jailed for seven years.

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