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Letter: Hidden drug money

Sir: If the Prime Minister is to make the danger of drugs the centrepiece of his Labour conference speech today (Tuesday), the experience of Lady Flather, Lady Gardner of Parkes, Fraser Kemp MP, the Rev Martin Smyth MP and myself as members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union delegation to Peru may be pertinent.

Last Tuesday, the mayor of Iquitos told us: "Yes, Peru does still produce more coca leaves than any other country in the world. But you saw our naval vessels on the Amazon, whose operations are solely anti-drug related. You saw the sniffer dogs examining every package at our airport, for drugs. But we are like a man fighting with one hand tied behind his back so long as the West does nothing about anonymous numbered bank accounts in Grand Cayman, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and elsewhere."

Last Thursday during a 50-minute talk with us in the presidential palace in Lima, President Alberto Fujimori told us: "One thing is for sure - the serious drug money does not remain to help Peru, and I agree that the problem of anonymous numbered bank accounts has to be tackled on a world-wide scale."

We suggest that HMG forthwith obtain the full details of the Peruvian case against the anonymity of numbered accounts from the authorities in Lima, and from Roger Hart, the new British ambassador, who was present at our meetings.


(Linlithgow, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW 1