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Navy: Drug Seizures

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the value was of illegal narcotics seized by the Royal Navy in all theatres in each of the last three years; (143363)

(2) what value of illegal narcotics was seized by the Royal Navy in all theatres in each of the last three years.

[holding answers 18 June 2007]: All drugs seizures involving Royal Naval vessels or Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels over the past three years have taken place in the Caribbean or the Atlantic.

Figures for total tonnage seized also include estimated amounts that traffickers have jettisoned or destroyed during Royal Naval interdiction operations.

It is difficult to put an accurate value on the amount of illegal drugs seized or destroyed in these operations. The price of illegal drugs varies greatly depending on supply and demand, as well as the purity of the drugs themselves when they reach the UK market. Therefore quoted MOD figures for the “street value” of successful seizures are always estimates. Against that background and following close consultation with the Serious Organised Crime Agency since its formation in April last year, we have revised our overall figures for 2006-07 seizures (better reflecting the actual street value).

The tonnage and estimated value of Royal Naval drugs seizures over the last three reporting years are set out as follows.

Tonnage (to nearest metric tonne).

Estimated street value (£ million)

2004-05

10

500

2005-06

14

840

2006-07

17

680