Drugs Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:33 am on 9th November 2001.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 9:33 am, 9th November 2001

I cannot give my hon. Friend the figure now, but I can tell him—and I acknowledge this—that it is a very small proportion. That is why we have introduced the Proceeds of Crime Bill. The existing law is disjointed. There is an obligation to prove the origin of the funds—irrespective of whether it is drugs money or the result of other crime—even though that presents a problem to the law enforcement agencies in terms of seizing the proceeds of crime. Confiscation orders can be applied by the courts, but they are not often enforced, so only a small percentage of the confiscation orders that are agreed actually lead to confiscation. All that provides the justification for the Proceeds of Crime Bill, which will be debated shortly in Committee. That Bill is intended to make that process more effective.