Drugs: Burma

Home Department written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the extent of illicit trafficking of opium across Burma's borders into neighbouring countries; and what proposals the Government has put forward to reduce the trade.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

The most recent assessment was conducted in 2007 and drew on information from the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime's World Drugs Report 2006. This noted that opium and heroin from Laos and Burma is trafficked to neighbouring South East Asia countries (notably China) and to the Oceania region (mainly Australia). The main focus of the United Kingdom Government's drugs strategy is on drugs trafficked to this country and there was no indication that any of the traffic out of Burma is destined for the United Kingdom. The current stance of the Burmese Government makes it difficult for any non-Burmese national and international agency to work in that country.

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