Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (103)

Jack Chambers


103. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the interdiction operations undertaken by the Naval Service in each of the past ten years in tabular form; the number of vessels stopped; the number of vessels boarded or searched; the number of vessels seized or returned to land to be handed over to An Garda Síochána or relevant law enforcement agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34523/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Joint Task Force on Drug Interdiction (JTF) was established in 1993 as a Government measure to improve law enforcement in relation to illegal drug smuggling and consists of members of An Garda Síochána, the Customs Service and the Naval Service.

Overall responsibility for the prevention of drug trafficking rests primarily with the Customs Service of the Revenue Commissioners, while responsibility for the prevention of crime rests primarily with An Garda Síochána. The White Paper on Defence (2015) reaffirms the security role carried out by the Defence Forces in support of this important work.

The Permanent Defence Force has participated in a number of high profile drug interdiction operations resulting in significant seizures of drugs. While certain of these operations have been widely reported , the Deputy will appreciate that for operational and security reasons it is not appropriate for me to provide the information as requested.