Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of Jim Sheridan Jim Sheridan Labour, Paisley and Renfrewshire North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the latest estimate is of opiate seizures in Afghanistan since the start of UK operations there.

Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

It is difficult to obtain precise opiate seizure figures since UK operations in Afghanistan began in 2002, due to the absence of adequate information systems at that time.

Further to the written answer of my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East of 14 July 2006, Hansard, column 2133W, in response to a question from Nick Harvey, in which he referred to a total of 186.6 tonnes of opiate equivalents seized for the period May 2005 to June 2006, the Afghan Ministry of Interior have recently revised their estimate of total seizures. They estimate for the period 1 May 2005 to 11 October 2006, 115.3 tonnes of opiate equivalents were seized.

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