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26 Jun 2008 : Column 34WS

Congestion Charge

The number of outstanding fines incurred by diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom for non-payment of the London congestion charge since its introduction in February 2003 until 14 May 2008 was 175,482. The table below shows the 10 diplomatic missions with the highest value of outstanding fines:

MissionNumber of fines outstandingValue (£)

USA

23,188

2,347,205

Japan

13,062

1,334,560

Russian Federation

12,765

1,308,720

Germany

11,213

1,149,050

Nigeria

11,096

1,120,650

Sudan

7,984

793,300

Kenya

5,084

502,630

Tanzania

4,654

461,080

India

3,949

409,360

South Africa

4,098

406,480


Diplomatic Missions (Non-Domestic Rates)

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband): The majority of diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom pay the national non-domestic rates requested from them. They are obliged to pay only 6 per cent. of the total national non-domestic rates (NNDR) value, which represents payment for specific services such as street cleaning, lighting, maintenance and fire services. The total amount outstanding from all diplomatic missions is approximately £424,700.51. However, as at 31 March 2008 the missions listed below owed over £10,000 in NNDR. One additional diplomatic mission, which owes £10,000 or more in NNDR, has made arrangements with the Valuation Office Agency to clear their outstanding debt and has not been included in this list:

CountryAmount (£)

Algeria

67,503.84

Zimbabwe

66,993.48

Cameroon

44,124.69

Bangladesh

37,555.49

Cote d'lvoire

37,056.99

Malawi

27,773.58

Ukraine

18,535.85

Tunisia

17,212.08

Tanzania

11,380.76

Total

328,136.76


Diplomatic Immunity (Serious Offences)

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband): In 2007, 20 serious offences allegedly committed by people entitled to diplomatic immunity were drawn to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. ‘Serious offences’ are defined as offences that would, in certain circumstances, carry a penalty of 12 months or more imprisonment. Some 24,000 people are entitled to diplomatic immunity in the United Kingdom.


26 Jun 2008 : Column 35WS

The table below lists those foreign missions whose diplomats allegedly committed serious offences and the type of offence from 2003-2007:


26 Jun 2008 : Column 36WS

2003

Activities inconsistent with diplomatic status (bribery)

Saudi Arabia

1

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Algeria

1

Bolivia

1

Bulgaria

1

Commonwealth Secretariat

1

Italy

1

Kuwait

1

Mexico

1

Other(1)

1

Russia

1

Rwanda

1

Sierra Leone

1

Ukraine

1

Indecent assault

South Africa

1

Morrocco

1

Possession of an offensive weapon

Libya

1

2004

Arranging sham marriages

Nigeria

1

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Angola

1

Austria

1

Luxembourg

1

Mozambique

1

Serbia and Montenegro

1

Spain

1

Indecent assault

Congo

1

Saudi Arabia

1

Indecent assault on child

Saudi Arabia

1

Robbery andassault

Angola

1

2005

Actual bodily harm

Jordan

1

Assault (domestic violence)

Saudi Arabia

1

Dangerous driving

Turkey

1

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Angola

1

Egypt

1

Ghana

1

Lebanon

1

Peru

1

Russia

1

Saudi Arabia

1

Harassment

Turkey

1

Theft (shoplifting)

Egypt

1

Equatorial Guinea

1

Zambia

1

Theft and robbery (of motor vehicle, driving without insurance)

South Africa

1

2006

Attempted robbery

South Africa

1

Deception (going equipped to commit)

Nigeria

1

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Kazakhstan

2

Belarus

1

Cote d’Ivoire

1

Kuwait

1

Malawi

1

Oman

1

Saudi Arabia

1

South Africa

1

Driving without insurance

Pakistan

1

Failure to stop for police/driving without insurance and licence

Kazakhstan

1

Robbery

South Africa

1

Theft (obtaining property by deception)

Ghana

1

2007

Dangerous driving

Russia

1

Domestic assault/actual bodily harm

South Africa

1

Driving without insurance

Ghana

1

Driving without insurance and driving under the influence of alcohol

Malawi

2

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Belarus

1

Georgia

1

Hungary

1

Israel

1

Italy

1

Other(1)

1

Kazakhstan

1

Kuwait

1

Moldova

1

Nigeria

1

Peru

1

Saudi Arabia

1

Turkmenistan

1

Misrepresentation (obtaining insurance by deception)

Cote d’Ivoire

1

Robbery and actual bodily harm

Guyana

1

(1) Details have been withheld because the number of diplomatic personnel in the mission(s) concerned is/are so small that disclosure would lead to the identification of the individual concerned. This would breach the data protection rights of that individual, in particular, the first data protection principle, namely, that personal data should be processed fairly. This is because the offences are only alleged to have been committed and have not been proven in a court of law. In these circumstances, Section 40 (2) and (3) of the Freedom of Information Act confer an absolute exemption on disclosure of this information.

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