Seanad debates

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Commencement Matters

Drugs Smuggling

10:30 am

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Revenue has informed me that because its resources are deployed across its broad compliance activities - of which the combating of drug smuggling is an important component - it allocates them on the basis of risk. Revenue has a presence at all key airports and ports but it also deploys resources, on a risk assessment basis, to less busy points. Staff deployed at any particular location can be and are augmented with additional personnel on a risk assessment basis or when certain operations are taking place.Revenue's commitment to co-operation with international partners is an important part of underpinning our success and effectiveness in combatting drug smuggling. I believe this commitment is reflected by the fact that resources from Revenue are assigned to international anti-smuggling organisations. Revenue currently has customs attachés and liaison officers posted in Brussels, London, Europol, The Hague and Lisbon. Revenue also has an officer assigned to the Europol national unit in Garda headquarters. It is a matter of intelligence gathering.

I reiterate that if anyone has specific information, I urge them to use the customs drug watch programme and the telephone line, because Revenue makes decisions on the level of resources to deploy based on the level of risk as assessed, as well as on intelligence received from the public. I will ensure that the Senator's feedback is brought directly to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners.


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