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Increase in drug seizures in 2018

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DRUG seizures made by Customs officers increased in 2018, figures show.

Elizabeth Harbour terminal. Customs and Immigration officers at work checking passports, checking passengers , searching vehicles. NO NAMES Picture: ROB CURRIE. (25960604)

Data obtained through a freedom of information request has revealed that a total of 179 seizures were made in 2018, with the drugs seized being valued at £2,146,057.

This was up from the year before when 140 seizures were made, although the value of the substances seized was higher at £3,013,394.

Figures for the six months of this year showed that £1,751,492 worth of illegal drugs have been seized at the Harbour, Airport and post office.

Head of Customs and Immigration Mark Cockerham said single seizures increase the value in certain years and the numbers fluctuate.

He explained: ‘The quantity and value of drugs seized fluctuates from year to year and does not necessarily move in line with the number of seizures made. For example, a single seizure may significantly increase overall statistics for a particular year.

‘The average value of drugs seized over the past five years has been in the region of £2.4 million, comprising a mixture of both class A and Class B drugs.

‘Figures up to 30 June 2019 are in line with previous years.

‘In terms of Brexit and the operational consequences on Jersey’s borders, we do not anticipate an associated increased risk in drug-smuggling activity in the advent of a no-deal scenario and it will certainly not result in any less effective controls in place to detect this type of smuggling.’

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In 2017 the biggest seizure was a 64.4kg haul with a value of £1.115 million that was discovered at the harbour.

In 2018, the largest seizure was of £1.34 million worth of substances, including 1kg of cocaine, 9,853 ecstasy tablets and 50kg of cannabis.

So far in 2019, the biggest seizure dealt with was a haul worth £485,000 taken from a yacht, which included 968g of cocaine, 255 ecstasy tablets and 4.7kg of cannabis. However, last month, a cache of suspected heroin worth £10 million was seized – that case is currently going through the court process.

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