HC Deb 16 June 1948 vol 452 cc41-2W
15. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how much opium is known and how much more is estimated to have been imported illegally into Singapore since 1945.

Mr. Creech Jones

The answer is as follows:

Illegal Opium Imports into Singapore

Raw and prepared opium seizures in Singapore from October, 1945, to May, 1948, inclusive in pounds were:

October to December,
1945 130.84
1946 2,018.89
1947 2,363.36
January to May, 1948 1,567.06
Total 6,080.15
Of this total 88.85 per cent. was seized on board ships before it reached the local market. Factors causing low seizure figure for 1945 were: (1) the existing high stocks released by Japanese before the surrender, and (2) the dislocation of shipping after re-occupation, delaying reformation of smuggling organisations.

Any estimate of non-seized opium imported can be conjectural only. The Customs estimate that the proportion seized is from 10 per cent. to one-third. The big profits made enable agents to receive high payments, resulting in information being withheld or arriving too late for effective action.