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Drugs: Imports

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the countries of origin of illegal drugs imported into the UK were in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007, giving the percentage of illegal imports from each. (205425)

[holding answer 14 May 2008]: For 1997, the NCIS UK Threat Assessment showed that Spain represented the traditional route for cocaine entering Europe, because of the extensive cultural links with South America; and other routes through Africa and East Europea and Eurasia were becoming more important (no percentages are available). Interpol estimated that 80-90 per cent. of heroin trafficked to Western Europe originated from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. 60-80 per cent. of cannabis resin supplied to Western Europe originated from Morocco.

For 2007, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) estimates that 80-85 per cent. of the cocaine being trafficked to the UK originated in Colombia. The remaining 15-20 per cent. was believed to have originated from Peru/Bolivia/Ecuador. Almost all the opium used to manufacture heroin imported into the UK originated in Afghanistan; with the actual manufacture of heroin from opium base taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. (Data are not held on the respective percentages for manufacture.) The majority of herbal cannabis originated in Morocco and South East Asia; skunk cannabis in the Netherlands; and cannabis resin in Jamaica and parts of Africa (no percentages are available).

Amphetamines originated from a variety of European countries, primarily the Netherlands and Belgium (no percentages are available).