Minister Flanagan publishes Criminal Assets Bureau Annual Report 2017
- €4.3million returned to Exchequer
- €1.7million from proceeds of crime
5 July 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., today laid the Annual Report on the activities of the Criminal Assets Bureau for 2017 before the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Outlining the activities undertaken during the year, the Minister highlighted in particular that the Bureau had:
- returned in excess of €4.3m to the Exchequer,
- €1.698m of that was returned under Proceeds of Crime legislation
- €2.374m was collected under Revenue legislation
- €0.319m was recovered in Social Welfare overpayments
Referring to the Report, the Minister said “the Bureau brought twenty eight 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 €0.471m. 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.”
The Minister 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 in their respective communities 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.” These initiatives, and developments in relation to increased numbers of Asset Profilers, are key responses to the Programme for Government commitment relating to how communities can better engage with the Bureau.
The Minister also noted the reference in the Annual Report to the Bureau’s seizure of the crypto currency Ethereum, which is a first for law enforcement worldwide.
This is the twenty-second Annual Report of the Criminal Assets Bureau since its establishment in 1996. Acknowledging that, the Minister added: “CAB’s 2017 Report evidences the hard work and dedication of all of the agencies involved and I would like to thank them for their ongoing and determined drive to deprive people of the benefits of assets derived from criminality. In particular I would like to thank once again and acknowledge Chief Bureau Officer Pat Clavin and his team for their excellent and relentless efforts in targeting the proceeds of crime generated from a range of criminal activities. This Government is fully committed to continuing to support the excellent work that the Bureau does.”
Notes for Editors:
The Annual Report is laid before the Houses pursuant to Section 21 of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996.
The Criminal Assets Bureau was established by Government in 1996. The Bureau’s remit is to target the assets, wherever situated, of persons which derive or are suspected to derive, directly or indirectly, from criminal conduct.
The Bureau utilises the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime legislation as well as Revenue and Social Welfare legislation in targeting the proceeds of crime generated from a range of criminal activities.
The Bureau is a statutory body with staff drawn from An Garda Síochána, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Department of Justice and Equality.
Asset profilers trained by the Bureau continue to provide a criminal asset profiling service in each Garda Division in relation to persons or suspects operating within their area, with particular reference to those involved in drug dealing and serious criminal activity.
The number of trained Garda Asset Profilers stands at 318 plus 27 Revenue Customs and Social Protection trained assets profilers, making a total of 345 throughout the country.
The Annual Report is available at Criminal Assets Bureau Annual Report 2017