§ Mr. Spencer
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the recent meeting in Oslo of European Justice Ministers to discuss European co-operation on countering the importation of drugs.
§ Mr. Mellor
The meeting which I attended in Oslo on 17–19 June gave Council of Europe Justice Ministers a valuable opportunity to discuss common problems relating to the criminal aspects of drug abuse. In my address I urged all member states to ensure that the laundering of the proceeds of drug trafficking should itself by a criminal offence under their own laws, as it will be in this country once the Drug Trafficking Offences Bill becomes law. The conference fully recognised the necessity for an international approach to the attack on the illegal drugs trade. Its final resolution reflected the wish of all members states to develop more effective co-operation in such areas as the detection, freezing, and confiscation of the proceeds of drug trafficking; and recognised the importance of the meeting of the ministerial conference of the Pompidou Group in London next January in taking this work forward. The Government regard this as a highly satisfactory outcome.