Criminal Assets Bureau froze assets worth more than €7m last year, report shows

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) froze assets worth more than €7m last year, a new report shows.

The Criminal Assets Bureau Annual Report for 2017 says its activities led to €4.3m being returned to the Exchequer using proceeds of crime legislation, along with Revenue and Social Protection measures.

That figure is an increase of €500m compared to 2016.

Proceeds of Crime cases brought before the High Court by CAB more than doubled to 28 last year,

Referring to the Report, the Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan TD said: “The Bureau brought 28 new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court in 2017. This is the highest number of new cases commenced in a single year since its establishment.

"In addition, the value of assets frozen during the year was €7.02m with taxes and interest demanded valued at €14m, and social welfare savings amounting to €471,000. I commend all concerned for their great work in this regard.”

The Minister pointed to the reported emphasis placed on targeting the organised crime gangs engaged in serious and organised property crime, such as burglaries and robberies.

He added: “I am particularly pleased to hear about the continuing expansion and development of the Divisional Asset Profiler Network which now includes some 345 trained profilers throughout the State. These are key local level personnel who support the development and progress of investigations.”

Mr Flanagan said that he was also pleased that the Bureau has been very active in terms of its briefings of Joint Policing Committees on the situation and how the Bureau can contribute to dismantling criminal groups with information provided by local communities.

“I understand that these briefings have been very well received by all concerned and that they have resulted in increased numbers of referrals to the Bureau from local communities. I also understand that the Bureau has established a link with Crimestoppers to assist local communities in sharing information with the Bureau," he said.

CAB was established by Government in 1996. The Bureau targets the assets of people which derive or are suspected to derive, directly or indirectly, from criminal conduct.

The Annual Report is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality here.

- Digital Desk

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