HC Deb 02 July 2003 vol 408 c332W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of links between organised crime and the funding of terrorist groups; and if he will make a statement. [121136]

Jane Kennedy

The Organised Crime Task Force's most recent assessment is that two thirds of the organised crime groups known to the law enforcement agencies are either associated with or controlled by paramilitary organisations.

It is not always clear, however, what proportion of the illegal profits is passed on to their organisations or retained by themselves to fund a lucrative lifestyle.

That said, the law enforcement agencies represented on the Task Force do not tackle organised criminals or crime groups solely on the basis of their paramilitary affiliations but because of their involvement in criminal activities.

Over the past financial year, 64 organised crime networks have had members arrested for a wide range of serious offences and members of 35 groups were successfully prosecuted for crimes including attempted murder, blackmail, armed robbery, drugs offences and counterfeit goods. 75 networks were disrupted or dismantled during the year.