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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 18:37 GMT
5m homes seized from ex-RUC man
Mr Armstrong was allowed to keep his cars, including a Porsche
An ex-RUC reservist who had 40 properties worth about 5m confiscated by the Assets Recovery Agency has said he is happy with what he kept.

In an out of court settlement, Colin Armstrong, 40, from Tullynewbank Road, Glenavy, retains four properties, including a house in France.

He also keeps a motorbike, cars, including a Porsche, and bank accounts.

Mr Armstrong said he settled the action on the basis there had been tax evasion and mortgage fraud by a third party.

The properties were confiscated in Lurgan, Portadown and Gilford.

Mr Armstrong, a former full-time reservist who left the RUC in the early 1990s, had his entire property portfolio frozen nearly two years ago when the Assets Recovery Agency was granted an interim receiving order.

Speaking outside the High Court in Belfast on Thursday, he said: "It's unbelievable. We can see light at the end of the tunnel now.

"I'm relieved it's all over for me and my family. We are very happy with what we have kept."

The Assets Recovery Agency has agreed to pay Mr Armstrong's legal costs which amount to 175,000.

The agency's interim director Alan McQuillan said it was largest recovery they had made in Northern Ireland.

"We have recovered around 80% of all the known assets including 40 properties in mid Ulster with a net value of around 4m," he said.

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