Written Answers. - Naval Service Powers.

Bernard Allen

Question:

141 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Defence if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 157 of 2 March 1999, he will update the information regarding the number of occasions per year Naval Service personnel have used their powers as enforcement officers under the Criminal Justice Act, 1994, since this power was delegated to them; and the number of times they have used powers under the Act without direction from other agencies. [4840/00]

Since the establishment of a joint task force involving the Garda, and the Naval Service, the Naval Service has been involved in 28 drug interdiction missions, as follows:

Year

No. of operations

1996

1

1997

3

1998

12

1999

11

2000 (to date)

1

The statutory authority allows Naval Service personnel to board and detain vessels suspected of being involved in illegal drug trafficking, without the necessity of having a member of the other enforcement agencies present. In practice, however, this power has been operated to-date under the direction of the joint task force.
The question of reimbursement to those personnel from whom these moneys were deducted will also be addressed shortly. The amount of money deducted under this paragraph in 1998 was £136,929 and in 1999 was £132,954.