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Written Answers. - Customs and Excise Drugs Unit.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 50. Dr. O'Hanlon Information on Rory O'Hanlon Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is no customs and excise drugs unit, including sniffer dogs in counties Monaghan or Cavan; if he intends to have such a unit placed in these two counties; the location of the nearest drugs unit to these counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9059/96]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the deployment of the various units of the Customs National Drugs Team (CNDT) throughout the [90] country is designed to afford the best possible protection in the fight against the illegal importation of drugs. Apart from the specialist staff of that team, the general cadre of Customs and Excise staff are responsible, as part of their normal duties, for combating drug smuggling. In this regard, a total of 54 full-time Customs and Excise staff are currently serving in Counties Cavan and Monaghan.

The Revenue Commissioners have advised me that there is no intelligence available at present to indicate that there is smuggling of illegal drugs into these counties from Northern Ireland and no units of the CNDT are based in the area. Should the need arise, however, local Customs staff may call on the assistance of units from Dublin.

The deployment of units of the CNDT is, of course, kept under review in the light of experience.

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