The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Michael McDowell, T.D., has today laid the Annual Report on the activities of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) for 2005 before each House of the Oireachtas. The Report for 2005 is the tenth such Annual Report.
Commenting on the report, the Minister said, "The CAB Annual Report for 2005 once again highlights the effectiveness of a co-ordinated multi-agency, multi-disciplinary and partnership approach in dealing with the proceeds of criminal conduct. The Report unequivocally demonstrates the success of the Bureau in pursuing the assets of those involved in criminal activity.
The Bureau is an integral element in the armoury of the State to ensure crime doesn't pay and I commend the Bureau on its achievements in 2005.
I also commend the Bureau on the international links it has forged as this will help ensure that proceeds of crime will be tracked down, regardless of location."
In 2005 the Bureau:
- obtained interim orders to the value of over Euro6 million and Interlocutory Orders ("final" restraint orders) to the value of almost Euro1.3 million;
- collected over Euro16 million in taxes and interest;
- made social welfare savings of over Euro216,000 and recoveries of over Euro294,000.
The Minister said that since its statutory inception in October 1996 and up to 31 December 2005 the Bureau has obtained interim and "final" restraint orders to the value of over Euro58 million and Euro25 million respectively. In the same period, taxes and interest demanded was almost Euro87 million, with almost Euro89 million collected. Regarding social welfare payments, savings amount to almost Euro2 million and recovery of overpayments amounted to over Euro1 million.
The Minister commended the Bureau's participation in a number of international joint investigations helping to identify the assets of persons involved in criminal conduct. The Bureau's work with the Camden Assets Recovery Inter-Agency Network (CARIN) continues to enhance the effectiveness of efforts to deprive criminals of illicit profits. The Bureau held the presidency of CARIN during 2005.
The Minister also congratulated the Bureau in hosting a successful international conference entitled "Multi-Agency Alternative Strategies for Targeting Proceeds of Criminal Activity - A European Union perspective". This conference examined alternative strategies to deny or deprive persons of the benefit of the proceeds of criminal activity and brought together a wide range of international delegates engaged in a common purpose.
The Annual Report and a table setting out the successes of the Criminal Assets Bureau 1996 - 2005 based on Annual Reports 1996 - 2005 are attached.
25 August 2006
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 Euro13,000. 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.
Criminal Assest Bureau Annual Report 2005 (PDF – 1.3MB)