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Organised Crime

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 1st May 2002.

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Photo of John Smith John Smith Labour, Vale of Glamorgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent action has been taken to tackle (a) smuggling and (b) other forms of organised crime.

Photo of Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

In September 2000 the Government established an Organised Crime Task Force in Northern Ireland. The task force, which I chair, bring 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 against smuggling gangs and other organised criminals 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 drug offences.

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