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Drug Seizures

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account is taken of past quantities of heroin and cocaine seized by HM Revenue and Customs in setting targets for future seizures; for what reason equivalent seizure targets are not set for (a) ecstasy and (b) cannabis; and if he will make a statement (156607)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what quantities of (a) heroin, (b) cocaine, (c) ecstasy and (d) cannabis were seized as a result of HM Revenue and Customs operations in each of the last four years; (156024)

(2) what the seizure quantity targets were for (a) heroin, (b) cocaine, (c) ecstasy and (d) cannabis in each of the last four years.

Seizure quantity targets for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 for the Concerted Inter Agency Drugs Action group (CIDA) are as follows:

Kilograms

Financial year

Heroin

Cocaine

2005-061

5,300

13,200

2004-05

4,600

12,600

2003-04

4,000

12,000

1 The targets set for each of the years 2005-06, 2004-05, 2003 -04 were joint targets for the agencies that formed the Concerted Inter-agency Drugs Action group (CIDA). The individual agencies that formed CIDA, including HMRC did not have their own specific targets.

No seizure targets were set for ecstasy or cannabis.

HM Revenue & Customs was one of the contributing agencies to CIDA's overall seizure target quantities. HMRC seized the following quantities of drugs in each of the last four years.

Kilograms

Financial year

Heroin

Cocaine

Ecstasy

Cannabis

2006-071

527

2,368

1,212

62,966

2005-06

1,057

5,798

468

41,611

2004-05

1,613

8,606

740

57,504

2003-04

1,626

220,727

1,245

57,617

1 When the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) became operational on 1 April 2006, primacy for, and the resources associated with the investigation of Class A drugs cases transferred to SOCA.

2 The large quantity of cocaine seized in this year is due to the culmination of several long running operations.

HMRC's seizure target for 2006-07 was 700kgs for heroin and 2,600kgs for cocaine. In setting the targets for 2007-08 for heroin and cocaine, HM Revenue & Customs used their 2005-06 results and stripped out those seizures that were generated by the area of the Department that transferred to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).