CAB probes capture 1,770 targets across the country while €5.5 million in assets are returned to the state

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is investigating a record 1,770 targets across the country.

These targets are either criminal groups or individuals.

The Bureau also handed over more than €5 million to the Treasury last year, of which €1.14 million was confiscated as proceeds of crime.

Around 4.4 million euros were collected in taxes and 300,000 euros in social welfare overpayments.

CAB owned a total of 61 properties across the country at the end of last year.

More than €45,000 was raised in an online auction last December, which saw 55 confiscated designer items – including handbags, watches and clothes – put up for sale, while the office raised a further €653,000 from the sale of four properties.

A geographical breakdown of CAB’s targets shows that the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) West Garda division, which oversees areas such as Blanchardstown, Finglas and Clondalkin, had the highest number of targets at 293.

There were 147 CAB targets in Limerick, while 139 were in the capital’s DMR North Division.

The county with the fewest goals was Mayo with just six goals, followed by Cork North (13) and Cork West (14).

At the end of last year, CAB was targeting 27 criminals who were not based in Ireland.

Between 1996 and 2021, a total of €204 million was returned to the state treasury, including €165 million in tax payments, €33 million in proceeds of crime and €6 million in social benefits.

More than 360 proceeds of crime lawsuits have been filed with the courts, involving assets worth nearly €170 million.

CAB had 552 profilers working with it in departments across the state at the end of last year, made up of 527 Gardaí, 17 Customs officers and eight Department of Social Protection officers.

This allows the organization to ensure it focuses on local criminal targets across the state.

Commenting on the report, Attorney General Helen McEntee said: “CAB has been an important tool in our arsenal in the fight against organized crime.

“CAB hits criminals where it hurts – in their pockets – by targeting the ill-gotten gains of criminal behavior.

“In 2021, the 25th anniversary of the office, more than 5.5 million euros were paid back to the state treasury.

“I am also pleased about the recovery and return in a remarkable case of 5.4 million euros to six betrayed victims.

“Earlier this year I created the Community Safety Innovation Fund Scheme, which reinvests proceeds of crime confiscated by the CAB back into the communities that need them. We are also reviewing how best to support CAB in its important work – last year my department completed a review that made a number of recommendations.

“One priority I would like to pursue is reducing the timeframe for issuing a ‘disposal order’.

“At the moment, after the High Court has found an asset to be the result of a crime, it can be a further seven years before it can finally be seized.”

She added: “My intention is to significantly reduce the legal timeframe of seven years before a ‘disposal order’ is issued.

“Reducing this period would mean that those who generate criminal assets would not be able to benefit from them for an extended period of time.” CAB probes capture 1,770 targets across the country while €5.5 million in assets are returned to the state

Fry Electronics Team

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