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Navy: Drug Seizures

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 July 2007, Official Report, column 1250W, on Navy: drug seizures, what the circumstances and outcome of each drug seizure made by the Royal Navy in 2006-07 was; and to which law enforcement agency the contraband was turned over in each case. (156247)

The following table sets out the details of each drug seizure in which the Royal Navy was involved, for the financial year 2006-07. All the drug seizures detailed in the table involved cocaine. 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. It should be noted that it is likely that not all the cocaine seized would have reached the UK market.

Date

Location

Estimated Tonnage

Estimated Street Value1 (£ million)

Ships involved

Lead Agency for Contraband

10 September 2006

300 miles north east of Barbados

5

245

RFA Wave Ruler

US Law Enforcement Detachment

5 October 2006

Off the west coast of North Africa

1.8

88

HMS Argyle and RFA Gold Rover

Spanish Law Enforcement Detachment

25 October 2006

Off the coast of Puerto Rico

3

147

RFA Wave Ruler

US Law Enforcement Detachment

6 November 2006

300 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands

1.3

64

HMS Argyle

Spanish Law Enforcement Detachment

23 November 2006

600 miles north east of Barbados

2.9

142

RFA Wave Ruler

US Law Enforcement Detachment

1 If drugs had reached the UK.

In my answer to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 670W, about drug seizures, it has been identified that the data are incorrect for 2005-06 and 2006-07. The correct tonnage should read 17 and 14 respectively.