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CAB 'frightened a lot of criminals out of the country' - former Justice Minister

A former justice minister says the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has done exactly what it said it ...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.46 15 Oct 2021


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CAB 'frightened a lot of crimi...

CAB 'frightened a lot of criminals out of the country' - former Justice Minister

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.46 15 Oct 2021


Share this article


A former justice minister says the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has done exactly what it said it would do.

Nora Owen was speaking as the CAB, which has seized goods worth over €88.5m since 2016, marked its 25th anniversary on Friday.

It was set up on October 15th 1996 - less than four months after the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in Dublin.

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It seizes property from criminals who acquired it through illegal means. In total, the bureau has seized assets worth more than €165m over the past 25 years.

New figures show since 2016 alone, it has seized more than €88.5m worth of property.

In 2019, it was granted a freezing order over crypto-currency worth over €53m.

Some 296 people have worked for CAB over the past 25 years.

It involves four agencies - the Gardaí, Revenue Commissioners and the Departments of Justice and Social Protection.

Nora Owen was Minister for Justice at the time, and told Newstalk Breakfast the agency has frightened a lot of criminals.

"CAB has been a huge success, it has brought millions and millions of resources into the State which were the result of crimes.

"And it has also caused many people to be jailed as a result of their criminal activity.

"It has, I think, frightened a lot of criminals - many of whom have left the country.

"So all in all, it has done exactly what it said it would do - which was to get at people who were committing serious crimes and removing their assets from them, and giving them back to the State".

File photo of Veronica Guerin File photo of Veronica Guerin. Picture by: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Veronica Guerin's brother, Jimmy, says he is proud of the work being done.

"CAB is synonymous with the murder of Veronica, and I think if there's some small thing to be taken from the tragedy that did occur in '96 was the formulation of CAB.

"One the legacies it has meant is that we may not be able to prove the crime, but we're putting it up to the criminal to prove how they acquired their wealth.

"And that's something that's very good and that is, I think, serving us well.

"I think what it has achieved in 25 years is a testimony and great for Veronica's memory.

"The reality is that we had criminals being able to display their wealth without any fear of that being taken from them.

"And with the introduction of the Criminal Assets Bureau, that certainly stopped for a period of time with the bigger criminals".

Reporting by: Eoghan Murphy

Main image: Composite image shows former Justice Minister Nora Owen speaking at the Institute of International & European Affairs (IIEA) in Dublin in October 2019, and a Criminal Assets Bureau search in south Dublin in May 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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CAB Criminal Assets Bureau Gardai Jimmy Guerin Newstalk Breakfast Nora Owen Revenue Commissioners Veronica Guerin

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