Written answers

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Department of Defence

Naval Service Operations

11:00 pm

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Question 46: To ask the Minister for Defence the role of the Naval Service in the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre - Narcotics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46299/10]

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) was established in 2007 by seven European countries, including Ireland to focus on intelligence exchange amongst countries to tackle large drug shipments by sea and by air. It is designed as an international co-ordination force with access to national tasking agencies and requires participation and resources from all active members. The Centre composes of an Executive Board, a Director, liaison officers and staff. An Garda Síochána and the Customs Service have full-time liaison officers based at the Centre in Lisbon. Irish Naval Service personnel travel to the Centre when requested by the Joint Task Force.

The establishment in 1993 of the Joint Task Force, (JTF) involving An Garda Síochána, the Customs Service and the Naval Service who work together to deal with intelligence – driven drugs interdiction operations. The JTF is brought together when An Garda Síochana and the Customs Service review intelligence received and consider that a joint operation should be mounted. Information received from the MAOC(N) Centre is one source of such intelligence.

Naval Service involvement in the JTF will be operationally-driven based on the intelligence received and will operate in the maritime environment only.

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