Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder in Co Down of Malcolm McKeown, a well-known career criminal with loyalist paramilitary connections.
The 54-year-old was discovered dead in his car at the rear of a filling station in the village of Waringstown on Monday night. He had gunshot wounds to his head and body.
According to security, political and local sources, he was heavily involved in the drugs trade in the Lurgan-Portadown-Banbridge area of mid-Ulster, and his murder may be linked to that activity.
In a statement on Saturday, the PSNI said detectives investigating the murder arrested two men on Saturday morning.
The men, aged 25 and 24, have both been arrested on suspicion of murder and have been taken to the Musgrave Serious Crime Suite. They remain in police custody.
Following the arrests, DCI Peter Montgomery issued a fresh appeal for information in relation to the investigation.
He said: “CCTV footage shows Mr McKeown entering the shop at Dewart’s Garage at approximately 7.15pm on Monday and then walking back to his car approximately four minutes later. It was around this time I believe that the gunman or gunmen shot him.
“I am keen to trace the driver and passengers of a dark blue or black VW Passat, registration RK62 PLX, which was seen at 6.20pm in Cambrai Heights before the shooting. I believe the gunman or men may have got out of this car, [and] walked around the back of Dewart’s to shoot Malcolm McKeown, before fleeing and leaving Cambrai Heights in the car at 7.20pm.
“Did you see this car leaving Cambrai Heights and then travelling along the Dunkirk Road towards Summerhill Road at 7.20pm? If you were driving in these areas and have dashcam I would like to see it.
“If you live in Cambrai Heights or the adjoining streets and have private CCTV please let me know.
“This car was found burnt out on the Glenavon Lane in Lurgan just after 7.30pm. Did you see the occupants get out of it and get into a dark-coloured Jeep? If so, do you know where they went? Or did they make off on foot?”
He also asked for anyone who saw Mr McKeown in Lurgan or Craigavon at any stage on Monday to come forward.
Detectives in Northern Ireland are appealing for anyone with information or who saw anything to contact them on 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.