The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has almost 1,000 targets who, it believes, are benefiting from the proceeds of crimes including drug trafficking and burglaries.
The number of targets has risen by 60% to 973, according to CAB. Its statistics show Dublin has by far the biggest number of targets — west Dublin has 177 alone. Limerick has the next highest at 72, followed by Meath, Wexford Kildare, and Louth.
The figures emerged in an RTÉ interview with the head of the bureau, Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Clavin.
“Our targets would be the biggest level of national figures who are involved in criminal feuding around Dublin,” he said.
“We have international cases, but we also have local cases and the reason we do this is to try to stop them from becoming bigger criminals, to catch them earlier.”
He said the great majority of cases involve drug trafficking, followed very closely by people who are involved in burglaries and robberies.
“Certainly outside of Dublin, we find that people are very concerned about the burglary and robbery gangs,” he said.
CAB has 350 asset profilers around Ireland studying the activities of potential suspects. However, Det Chief Supt Clavin wants the public to play an active role.
“We are asking for people to look out for people with unexplained wealth that have lifestyles that are beyond their obvious earnings and to contact us and we will conduct confidential enquiries,” he said.
“They might see someone who changes their car every year, who takes a number of expensive holidays to places like Las Vegas, to the States, Dubai, and that always appears to have spending which is not in keeping with their earnings.”