HC Deb 16 December 1994 vol 251 cc826-7W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the cash and staff resources of(a) the financial intelligence unit and (b) the central authority for mutual assistance in criminal matters; how many reports of suspected money laundering have been made to each in each year since 1987; and how many (i) prosecutions, (ii) convictions and (iii) seizures of arms and drugs have been made in each year since 1987.

Mr. Maclean

The financial disclosures and money laundering section, formerly the financial intelligence unit, of the National Criminal Intelligence Service as 14 staff at a projected cost, including a common services element, of £460,000 in 1994–95. The United Kingdom Central Authority for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters is a part of the Home Office. It has 13 staff in post: estimated staff costs for 1994–95 are £262,000. Figures for non-staff costs attributable to the central authority are not readily available.

All disclosures of suspicious financial transactions under the money laundering legislation are passed to the financial disclosures and money laundering section. Figures for numbers of disclosures are as follows:

Year Disclosures
1987 544
1988 839
1989 1,595
1990 3,150
1991 4,410
1992 11,281
1993 12,750

The available information on prosecutions and convictions relates to the offence, in section 24 of the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986. of assisting another to retain the proceeds of drug trafficking. The figures are:

Prosecutions Convictions
1987 8 0
1988 18 7
1989 11 3
1990 10 5
1991 15 4
1992 11 8
1993 16 7

Statistics on firearms seizures are not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The most recent information on drugs seizures is contained in Home Office statistical bulletin 30/93: Statistics of Drugs Seizures and Offenders Dealt with, United Kingdom, 1992, a copy of which is in the Library. The figures, information for 1993 is not yet available, are:

1987 30,690
1988 38,235
1989 52,131
1990 60,859
1991 69,805
1992 72,065