Dáil debates

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

3:00 pm

Photo of John CurranJohn Curran (Dublin Mid West, Fianna Fail)

The specific question asked by the Deputy regarding private airfields and so on perhaps should not be directed towards the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. I understand it falls more properly under the remit of the Revenue Commissioners. I have met the Revenue Commissioners who have advised me that the traffic coming through such airports is profiled and that the Revenue Commissioners have mobile units that carry out random checks. Such random checks are a feature of customs operations and are performed quite regularly, based on profiling of flights, traffic and so forth. Moreover, this does not simply pertain to flights but to traffic entering all ports nationwide. The use of profiling, intelligence and information is the primary way in which the customs service conducts its business.

The Deputy made a number of comments as if to suggest nothing has been done. It is important to put on the record of the House that since the strategy was published on 10 September 2009, I have held a series of meetings with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, that Department's Secretary General, customs, Revenue and the Garda Commissioner and I will outline some of the actions arising therefrom. The number of dog units used to detect drugs entering ports has increased. The customs service recently has launched a new cutter at sea. A new mobile scanner for incoming trucks will be operational before the end of this year. Operation Anvil has been allocated increased funding in the current year. The Government has introduced legislation such as the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act in respect of gangland crime and the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009. I also have extended the Dial to Stop Drug Dealing campaign. These actions have been carried out specifically to tackle this problem in recent months.


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