Written Answers. - Illegal Drugs Seizures.

Wednesday, 7 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 461 No. 2

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  25.  Ms O'Donnell  Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   the procedures and safeguards adopted in the destruction of illegal drugs seized by Custom Officials; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18937/95]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that up to now Customs themselves arranged for the destruction of illegal drugs seized by them where, for example, they discovered the drugs in the parcel post or drugs where found on the seabed and the question of criminal prosecution did not arise. In those cases, a senior customs officer was responsible for the custody and destruction of the seized drugs under controlled [452] conditions and the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that no security lapses occurred in such cases.

In any cases where the question of possible prosecution of offenders arose the seized drugs were handed over to the Garda who were responsible for prosecution and the destruction of the drugs.

Under a memorandum of understanding concluded recently between the Customs Service and the Garda to standardise and refine the working relationship and practical co-operation between both agencies in combating drug smuggling, it has been agreed that in future all illegal drugs seized by Customs will be delivered to the Garda authorities. In those circumstances, the Garda will be responsible for the destruction of the drugs.


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