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Smuggling (Northern Ireland)

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role of the armed forces in combating smuggling in Northern Ireland. [131231]

HM Customs and Excise have the lead responsibility for combating smuggling. Under longstanding arrangements the armed forces can provide support when requested by the civil power. In addition if, during the course of their normal duties, the armed forces discover instances of suspected smuggling this information is passed to the civilian authorities.