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Customs And Excise

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) unauthorised persons, (b) illegal imports of cigarettes, (c) illegal imports of alcohol, (d) illegal imports of prohibited drugs and (e) illegal imports of meat were seized in each of the last five years by customs teams based in (i) Cornwall, (ii) Devon and (iii) Dorset; [127299]

(2) what drugs were seized from yachts in the South West in the last five years; and whether each seizure was made by (a) static officers by routine inspection in each of the last five years and (b) officers acting on received intelligence. [127300]

HM Customs and Excise has made four drugs seizures in the last five years from all types of non commercial vessels in the area covering the Bristol Channel to the Isle of Wight including the Scilly Isles and the South West approaches, totalling 400 kilos of cocaine and 10 tonnes of cannabis.The intended landing points may have been elsewhere in the UK.Customs use intelligence information and targeted risk-profiling techniques to help determine how and when to deploy resources. Experience demonstrates that this flexible approach allows Customs to deploy in larger numbers, less predictably and with greater impact anywhere in the UK.In accordance with exemption 4 (law enforcement and legal proceedings) of the Open Government Code Customs do not normally reveal whether or not they were acting on received intelligence in individual cases. Customs do not keep information on seizures delineated by county boundaries.