Over €4m returned to the Exchequer due to Criminal Assets Bureau activities, 2017 report shows

The bureau brought 28 new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court

Over €4m returned to the Exchequer due to Criminal Assets Bureau activities, 2017 report shows

A large sum of cash seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau in Rathkeale, Co Limerick in 2016 | Image: RollingNews.ie/Garda press

Activities undertaken by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) last year saw more than €4.3m returned to the Exchequer.

Its annual report also says €1.698m of that was returned under Proceeds of Crime legislation, €2.374m was collected under Revenue legislation and €319m was recovered in Social Welfare overpayments.

The bureau brought 28 new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court in 2017.

This was the highest number of new cases in a single year since its establishment.

While the value of assets frozen during the year was €7.02m.

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

"Key local level personnel"

He said: "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."

Minister 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 in their respective 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".

The CAB was established by the government in 1996 to target the assets of persons which are from, or are suspected to be from, criminal conduct.

The number of trained garda asset profilers stands at 318, plus 27 Revenue Customs and Social Protection trained profilers - making a total of 345 throughout the country.