The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., has today laid the Annual Report on the activities of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) for 2006 before each House of the Oireachtas. The Report for 2006 is the eleventh such Annual Report.
Commenting on the report, the Minister said: "The Criminal Assets Bureau Annual Report for 2006 highlights in very clear terms the effectiveness of a co-ordinated, multi-agency approach in dealing with the proceeds of criminal activity. The Report provides unequivocal evidence of the success of the Bureau in pursuing the assets of those who seek to benefit from criminal activity.
The Bureau remains an important and integral element in the fight against crime. The valuable work undertaken by the Bureau helps to ensure that crime does not pay and I commend the Bureau on its achievements in 2006.
I also commend the Bureau for its continued development of international links which will help ensure that the proceeds of crime will be tracked down, regardless of location".
Commenting on the importance of the CAB in tackling crime, Minister Lenihan said: "As I have previously indicated, I intend to include in the Garda policing priorities for 2008 a specific reference to enhanced liaison arrangements between Garda Divisions and the Criminal Assets Bureau in the pursuit of those engaged in drug dealing at all levels. As it is, profilers trained by CAB are now present in every Garda Division. The message should be clear: drug dealing by anybody on whatever scale is unacceptable and will be pursued."
In 2006 the Bureau:
- obtained interim orders to the value of almost €3.5 million and Interlocutory Orders ("final" restraint orders) to the value of over €5 million;
- collected over €19 million in taxes and interest;
- made social welfare savings of over €297,000 and recoveries of over €139,704.
The Minister said that since its statutory inception in October 1996 and up to 31 December 2006 the Bureau has obtained interim and "final" restraint orders to the value of over €61 million and €29 million respectively. In the same period, taxes and interest demanded was almost €103 million, with almost €108 million collected. Regarding social welfare payments, savings amount to almost €3 million and recovery of overpayments amounted to over €2 million.
The Annual Report of the Criminal Assets Bureau 2006 is available on the Garda website - www.garda.ie
22 October 2007
Notes for Editors
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996, the Bureau may apply to the High Court for an interim order which will prohibit dealing with, or otherwise dispensing of or diminishing the value of property which can be shown to be the proceeds of crime, and which has a value of not less than €13,000. When the High Court grants an interim order, the Bureau, within 21 days, must apply to the High Court for an interlocutory (or "final" restraint) order which, if granted, freezes the specified property for a period of seven years.
In February 2005, the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 came into effect. This Act will have a significant and beneficial effect on the operation of the Criminal Assets Bureau building even further on the levels of international cooperation already in existence.
Two important provisions of the Act are that assets, with the consent of the High Court and the parties concerned, can now be finally disposed of without having to await the expiry of the seven year period; and that foreign criminality can now be taken into account in assessing whether assets are the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Many of the practical benefits of the Act became apparent during 2006, e.g. the Bureau made the first application for an Unjust Enrichment Order.