Minister Flanagan publishes Criminal Assets Bureau Annual Report 2018

 

 

26 June 2019

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has laid the 2018 Annual Report of the Criminal Assets Bureau before the Houses of the Oireachtas. This is the twenty-third Annual Report of the Bureau since its establishment in 1996.

 

Minister Flanagan said: “I am pleased to announce the publication of the twenty-third Annual Report of the Criminal Assets Bureau and to thank the Chief Bureau Officer, Pat Clavin, and his team for their excellent and relentless efforts in targeting the proceeds of crime arising from a range of criminal activities.

 

The 2018 Report highlights the key activities undertaken by the Bureau during the year. During 2018, in excess of €5.6m was returned to the Exchequer as a result of CAB actions, including over €2.272m returned under Proceeds of Crime legislation, €3.097m collected under Revenue legislation and €0.323m recovered in Social Welfare overpayments.

 

In addition, the Bureau brought thirty new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court in 2018, the highest number of new cases commenced in a single year since its establishment.  The value of assets frozen during the year under section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 was €8.393m. Furthermore, taxes and interest demanded was valued at €14.99m.

 

The Minister welcomed the emphasis placed by CAB on targeting organised crime gangs engaged in serious and organised property crime, such as aggravated burglaries. 

 

The Minister said that he was also pleased to hear that the Bureau has provided briefings to all 36 Joint Policing Committees on its activities and how information provided by local communities can assist the Bureau in dismantling criminal groups, saying: “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.”

 

He added: “I am particularly pleased to hear about the continuing expansion and development of the Divisional Asset Profiler Network which now includes some 378 trained profilers throughout the State. These are key local level personnel who support the development and progress of investigations.”

 

These initiatives and developments are key responses to the Programme for Government commitment relating to how communities can better engage with the Bureau. Tackling organised crime in our communities is an ongoing priority for the Government and An Garda Síochána and significant resources have been dedicated to support the Gardaí in this work.

 

The Minister also noted the reference in the Annual Report to the Bureau’s seizures of crypto currencies ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Ethereum.’ The seizure of Ethereum is a first for law enforcement worldwide.

 

The Minister said: “The Criminal Assets Bureau’s 2018 Annual Report evidences the hard work and dedication of all of the staff and agencies involved in CAB and I would like to thank them for their ongoing efforts and determination to deprive people of the benefits of their criminal activity. This Government is fully committed to continuing to support the excellent work that the Bureau does.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors:

 

The Annual Report, which is laid before the Houses pursuant to Section 21 of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996, is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality at http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/CAB_Annual_Report_2018.pdf/Files/CAB_Annual_Report_2018.pdf

 

The Criminal Assets Bureau was established by Government in 1996. The Bureau’s remit is to target a person’s assets, wherever situated, 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, Revenue, 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 353 plus 25 Revenue Customs and Social Protection trained assets profilers, making a total of 378 throughout the country.