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Extortionists and robbers finally admit to callous slaying of Whitewell man four months after NBN article


By Staff Reporter

The criminal gang behind the murder of Whitewell man Danny McKay has this week claimed responsibility for his killing, four months after the North Belfast News revealed its role in the attack.

Now labelling themselves Action Against Drugs rather than Correct Action Against Drugs, the gang which shot dead the 36-year-old in his Longlands home in October, are attempting to mark out their own criminal ‘patch’ following the father-of-one’s callous slaying and the shooting of another man in North Belfast earlier last year.

Although still adopting a paramilitary type name and attempting to project an image of community protection, the gang – many of whom have republican paramilitary backgrounds – is made up of prolific house-breakers, forgers, robbers and extortionists.

With loose links and affiliations to other groups claiming republican values such as Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), the criminals have targeted major drug dealers as a source for extortion bids. Groups such as ONH and the CIRA are already raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds across the north by extorting dealers and large scale importers while masquerading as anti-drug paramilitary groupings.

It is widely accepted that Danny McKay was not a key player in the drugs trade and was considered an easy target who would not be armed or have tight security around his house. However, his killing – and the shooting in another area of North Belfast which left another man critically injured – was seen as a warning to the bigger dealers not to reject the criminals’ extortion bids after they were spurned by two major players.

However, it is believed that the vicious killing of McKay has already had the desired effect on one leading drugs importer. The man, who had previously ignored an extortion bid for £50,000 and had a bomb placed under his car, has now forked out £10,000 to the gang since the murder of Danny McKay.

Their announcement this week is seen as a prelude to further extortion bids and possible attacks.

“What these guys are basically doing is going to the dealers and big time exporters and saying ‘give us £50,000 and we will allow you to continue to sell drugs’,” said one source this week.

“Then if the dealers refuse they will hit a soft target, someone who isn’t going to be a big income stream for them anyway and then try and pass it off as ridding the community of drugs.

“There is no moral authority in this, no community protection, it’s about money and what they can get and absolutely nothing else.”

The strategy of criminals targeting other criminals is known as ‘black on black’ and is considered an easier method of criminality than targeting business people or non-criminal elements. Drug dealers and importers are unlikely to approach the police about extortion due to the illegal manner in which they gathered their wealth.

The approach is one which has been adopted by criminal gangs,  across the north also operating under the guise of republican paramilitary groupings but which are, in effect, criminal gangsters wreaking death and destruction in their own areas.

A PSNI spokesperson said the investigation into the killing of Danny McKay was ongoing. A number of men from the North Belfast and Newtownabbey areas arrested in relation to the killing were all released unconditionally.


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