Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 42 - Crime prevention [24798/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 42 - Crime prevention [24798/16]. (16 Sep 2016)

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42. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and the steps that can be taken to prevent online purchase or selling of illegal substances on websites available here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24798/16]

  Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald):  I can advise the Deputy that An Garda Síochána is committed to investigating any breaches of the law resulting from the availability of illegal substances on the internet. I can also advise that the availability, on-line, of illegal substances is being closely monitored by An Garda Síochána.

Furthermore, An Garda Síochána in partnership with its European and International counterparts is continuously monitoring the sale of all drugs via the internet in order to identify emerging trends and patterns.

An Garda Síochána also maintains close liaison with the Enforcement Section of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and Revenue's Customs Service regarding the issue of on-line drug sales.

All of the agencies are working to proactively target the availability of drugs online, both within their respective remits and together.

The agencies also participate in international co-ordinated action in this area as demonstrated, for example, by their involvement in the Interpol co-ordinated Operation Pangea. This Operation targets the supply of falsified/counterfeit and other illegal medicines and medical devices, primarily through illicit online sales. The latest phase of this operation was conducted last May, the Irish component of which was carried out by the HPRA in partnership with Revenue’s Customs Service and An Garda Síochána, and resulted in the detention in Ireland of approximately 60,000 falsified/counterfeit and other illegal medicines of an estimated value of €350,000.

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