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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006, 12:02 GMT
Couple's assets frozen by court
A married couple from Portadown has had assets worth more than 3.5m frozen by the High Court in Belfast.

The Assets Recovery Agency alleges that Mark and Beverley McKinney are involved in drug, fuel and cigarette smuggling and money laundering.

It was also alleged in court that Mr McKinney, of Woodlands Manor, was linked to loyalist paramilitaries.

Assets seized from the couple include property, the contents of more than 30 bank accounts and a helicopter.

The agency also seized 70 vehicles including articulated lorries, a Bentley Continental, a Jaguar X-Type and a Range Rover from the couple who own MMK International Transport Ltd.

The assets of a third person, Anthony James McNeill of Selshion Parade, Portadown, were also frozen under the same order.

These assets include that property, which is valued at about 60,000.

In pursuing its action against Mr McNeill, the agency alleged in court that both he and the McKinneys were engaged in laundering in excess of 650,000, and that he has links to loyalist paramilitaries in the Portadown area.

ARA Assistant Director Alan McQuillan said the case had been referred to his agency by the police.

He said: "While that company has some legitimate business, it was part of ARA's case to the High Court that that company was also used as a vehicle for smuggling drugs, tobacco, and oil into Northern Ireland, and that the McKinneys and Mr McNeill were involved in laundering the proceeds of crime."

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