To ask Her Majesty's Government how many suspected criminals have been returned from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the United Kingdom since 1 January 2008; and whether those have been as a result of formal requests to the TRNC authorities or of informal police or other activity, or from Turkish Cypriot good will. [HL3646]
There has been one case of which we are aware. In January 2009, the Turkish Cypriot authorities deported Gary Robb from north Cyprus and put him on a flight to the UK via Turkey. This was their independent decision, on which we are not qualified to comment. However, we applaud the determination of the Turkish Cypriots to ensure that the northern part of the island is not a haven for fugitives from justice.
As we do not recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, there is no mutual legal assistance treaty in place. Therefore, no formal request for assistance has ever been made. However, in the interests of justice, we maintain close contact with the Turkish Cypriots on organised crime issues.
The UK does not recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. No formal relationship therefore exists in respect of anti-criminal and anti-terrorist operations. However, the UK maintains a constructive dialogue with Turkish Cypriots on many issues of immediate concern. We welcome their recent efforts to combat international organised crime, including the adoption of stronger anti-money laundering controls. We also welcome the recently launched bi-communal sub-committee on crime and criminal matters, which provides a mechanism for the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities to exchange information on this important issue.