HC Deb 01 May 2002 vol 384 c840W
26. Mr. Soley

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government are taking to tackle the financing of terrorism in Northern Ireland. [51693]

Jane Kennedy

The Government's strategy for tackling terrorist crime in Northern Ireland is two fold. First, the police must have available to them robust legislative powers. The Terrorism Act 2000 contains a number of financial provisions for seeking information and restraining assets. These powers were supplemented by the Anti-Terrorist Crime and Security Act 2001, passed in the wake of the events on 11 September.

Second, in September 2000, the Government established an Organised Crime Task Force for Northern Ireland. The task force, which I chair, brings the various agencies that can make a difference, such as the police service of Northern ireland and HM Customs and Excise to agree crime types for concerted multi-agency action. The agencies have scored a number of notable successes over the past year, including the largest ever UK seizure (over 42 million) of smuggled cigarettes at Warrenpoint in November 2001. In February 2002 the police broke up a heroin distribution network and charged 15 people with serious drugs offences.