HC Deb 26 April 1995 vol 258 cc525-6W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the scale of value of diamond smuggling into the United Kingdom; and how many Customs and Excise staff are involved in its prevention; and what are the corresponding estimated figures for tobacco, alcohol and drugs. [19529]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

Information on the value of diamonds seized is not immediately available and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Information on the value of drugs prevented from entering the United Kingdom and the number of seizures made is contained in the Customs and Excise annual

Debt written off and debt injected prior to privatisation
Industry Debt written off Year £ million Debt injected Type of debt Year £ million
British Steel 1980–81 509.3 National Loans Fund
British Aerospace 1980–81 60.0 Public Dividend Capital
National Freight Corporation1 1980–81 100.0 National Loans Fund
British Airways 1980–81 160.0 Public Dividend Capital

report. Information for 1993–94 is that drugs to the value of £1,979 million were prevented from entering. A total of 8,510 seizures were made.

For single market excise-related offences the number and value of seizures of tobacco and alcohol products for the year to December 1994 are as follows:

Number of seizures Value (revenue) £
Tobacco 1,850 3,195,353
Alcohol 898 1,832,879

Customs staff employed at ports and airports are responsible for preventing the illegal importation of a wide range of prohibited and restricted goods and for the collection of revenue. They are not assigned to the prevention of smuggling of particular goods.

Forward to