The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is conducting 14 investigations in Cork city and county, targeting drug dealers, gangs of burglars, and those involved in organised prostitution.
Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Clavin gave the overview of CAB operations in the region at a meeting of the Cork Joint Policing Committee (JPC), confirming that the bureau is working on six cases in the Cork City Garda Division and four each in the Cork West and Cork North divisions.
He said for operational reasons he couldn’t be more specific about the investigations and he urged the public to report people suspected of being involved in organised crime.
He told members of the JPC that criminals flaunt it, people report it, and CAB takes it.
The senior garda said CAB, which has 90 operatives, has 20 profilers working in Cork who are trained to search for assets and wealth which have been amassed through criminal activity.
Det Chief Supt Clavin said CAB activity in Cork was very low in comparison to greater Dublin, where it has “300 targets” suspected of being involved in organised crime.
He said the bloody feud between the Kinahan and Hutch gangs was “a big factor” in the current CAB workload, while they also have a number of operations ongoing against organised crime gangs based in Limerick.
The bureau has targeted organised prostitution in Cork previously. It has also seized holiday homes in the region which were bought through the proceeds of crime, but is not currently investigating anything similar.
He also revealed organised crime gangs were turning from cash to crypto-currencies and they were also moving around drug consignments via the dark web. CAB recently seized a large quantity of the crypto-currency Ethereum.
Meanwhile, acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin has revealed that the Southern Region — which covers Cork, Limerick, and Kerry — had a jump in recorded sexual offences of more than 40% in the year-ending last November, compared to the same period the previous year.