§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times in each of the last five years his Department's personnel have been involved in counter-drugs operations; which units were involved; and what was the cost above normal expenditure for the operations. 
§ Mr. Doug Henderson
I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary gave to him on 1 March 1999,Official Report, columns 504–05. The operational details of counter-drugs support to HM Customs and Excise are sensitive and I am withholding the identities of the units involved in accordance with exemptions 1 and 4 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The additional costs incurred by MOD in these operations are typically in the region of £70–140k, depending upon the duration of the task and the extent of military involvement. These costs are recovered from HM Customs and Excise. There are no additional costs incurred by the West Indies Guard Ship in carrying out counter-drugs tasks in the Caribbean.