The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, T.D, has today laid the Annual Report on the activities of the Criminal Assets Bureau for 2011 before the Houses of the Oireachtas. This is the sixteenth Annual Report of the Bureau since its establishment in 1996.

Commenting on the Report, the Minister said, "I am determined that everything possible is done to ensure that assets derived from criminal conduct are targeted and lawfully confiscated by the State. The Bureau’s Annual Report for 2011 again highlights the effectiveness of a co-ordinated, multi agency approach to targeting the proceeds of criminal conduct. The work of the Bureau is one of the key law enforcement responses to tackling crime and the Government is very much committed to further strengthening the powers of the Bureau through forthcoming legislative proposals."

The Report details the activities undertaken by the Bureau against the criminal assets of persons suspected of being involved in criminal conduct. As highlighted in the Report, the Bureau disposed of a number of long standing cases during the year and commenced a number of new actions primarily related to drug trafficking. Action was also taken against persons suspected of involvement in fraud, the illicit trade in fuel laundering and cigarette smuggling. The Bureau also collected significant monies under both Revenue and Social Welfare provisions.

During 2011 the Bureau obtained interim orders under Proceeds of Crime legislation to the value of over €5.3m and interlocutory orders (final restraint orders) to the value of over €7.1m. In addition, arising from proceeds of crime actions a total of over €2.7m was returned during 2011 for the benefit of the Exchequer. Taxes and interest collected was approximately €3.8m and social welfare savings amounted to over €616,500 with over €454,000 recovered.

The Minister stated "the Bureau’s efforts to enhance its effectiveness through the development of the Divisional Assets Profiler Programme are to be commended. The ongoing training and recruitment of asset profilers provides a very valuable criminal asset profiling service to the Bureau and there are now in the region of 200 asset profilers in place throughout the jurisdiction."

As outlined in the Report the Bureau continued to work in close cooperation with law enforcement and judicial authorities throughout Europe and beyond. Highlighting the need for close cooperation at international level, the Minister commented "The Bureau is a very well developed model for the confiscation of proceeds of crime. This is recognised not only in this jurisdiction but also at international level where the experience of the Bureau is much valued. I have therefore taken steps at EU level to encourage my European colleagues to study the Bureau model and to consider this model in the further development of the EU confiscation framework allowing for mutual recognition of confiscation orders."

 

The full report is being made available on www.justice.ie.

 

26 April 2013

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors:

The Annual Report is laid before the Houses pursuant to section 21 of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996

In 2011, a total of 23 cases under the Proceeds of Crime Acts 1996 and 2005 were concluded together with 6 new proceedings brought before the High Court.

During the course of 2011, the Bureau obtained interim orders to the value of over €5.3m, £6,700 STG and Interlocutory Orders (final restraint orders) to the value of over €7.1m, over £73,200 STG and almost $700,000USD

Arising from proceeds of crime actions a total of over €2.7m was forwarded to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. In addition, taxes and interest collected was approx €3.8m. Social welfare savings amounted to over €616,500 with over €454,000 recovered.

Since its statutory inception in October 1996 up to 31 December 2011 the Bureau;

- has obtained interim orders to the value of over €67m, £18,783,372 STG and US$6,633,049 and Interlocutory Orders (final restraint orders) to the value of over €45,726,091, £3,080,498 STG and $6,077,710 USD;

- taxes and interest demanded was over €200 million, with almost €137 million collected;

- made social welfare savings of almost €6million and recoveries over €2 million.