MLA claims £200 ‘demanded’ of firms for gunrunning centenary

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An MLA has claimed businesses have been asked for money in a scam purporting to be connected to the centenary of the 1914 Larne gunrunning.

Sinn Fein’s Oliver McMullan said he had been approached by two people who claimed that men visited their premises and demanded £200.

“These men did not have any identification as to who they were, or who they represented,” said the East Antrim Assembly member.

Mr McMullan said he understood grants from council and other sources were available to help fund commemoration events “so businesses should not fall victim to this extortion”.

He added: “I would call on anyone approached by these men not to give into this extortion and to inform the PSNI. I would also call on Unionist political leaders to publicly state their position as to where they stand when it comes to illegal collections to fund commemorative events.”

Asked if the PSNI had received reports of demands for money, a spokesperson said they were “not aware initially”, adding that police would “support Mr McMullan’s call for people to report this”.