Wednesday, 7 February 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
25. Ms O'Donnell asked the Minister for Finance 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): 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  conditions and the Revenue Commissioners are satisfied that no security lapses occurred in such cases.
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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