27 October 2016
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, has today laid the Annual Report on the activities of the Criminal Assets Bureau for 2015 before the Houses of the Oireachtas.
This is the twentieth Annual Report of the Bureau since its establishment in 1996.
The Tánaiste said, “This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Bureau. In that time the Bureau has garnered significant recognition for the work that it does both nationally and internationally as part of the global effort to trace and remove from circulation the gains of criminal activity. ”
“During 2015, the Bureau returned in excess of €3.8 million to the Exchequer, including over €1.6m returned under Proceeds of Crime legislation, €2.038m collected under Revenue legislation and €0.185m recovered in Social Welfare overpayments.”
“In addition, the Bureau brought 13 new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court. Taxes and interest demanded during the year was valued at over €6.6 million and social welfare savings amounted to over €483,000.”
“Earlier this year, through the enactment of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2016, the reach of the Bureau was extended in response to the increased organised crime threat. The Act provided power to the Bureau to seize property which they suspect to be the proceeds of crime for up to 21 days.”
“The other key measure in the Act reduced the threshold value of property which can be pursued by CAB from €13,000 to €5,000. This will target the proceeds of crime held by middle to lower level gang members.”
The Report also highlights the work of the Bureau in contributing to the international response to targeting the proceeds of crime, as well as the ongoing capacity building efforts of the Bureau through the extension of the Assets Profiler Training Programme and the development of the Asset Confiscation and Tracing Investigators Course in conjunction with the Garda College.
The Tánaiste concluded: “I would like to especially thank Assistant Commissioner Eugene Corcoran for his dedicated service as Chief Bureau Officer for the past six years and wish the newly appointed Chief Bureau Officer, Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Clavin, every success for the future.”
Notes for Editors:
The Annual Report is laid before the Houses pursuant to Section 21 of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996.
The Criminal Assets Bureau was established by Government in 1996. The Bureau’s remit is to target the assets, wherever situated, of persons which derive or are suspected to derive, directly or indirectly, from criminal conduct.
The Bureau utilises the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime legislation as well as Revenue and Social Welfare legislation in targeting the proceeds of crime generated from a range of criminal activities.
The Bureau is a statutory body with staff drawn from An Garda Síochána, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Justice and Equality. The current staffing level of the Bureau is 71.
Asset profilers trained by the Bureau continue to provide a criminal asset profiling service in each Garda Division in relation to persons or suspects operating within their area, with particular reference to those involved in drug dealing and serious criminal activity.
At the end of 2015, the number of trained Garda Asset Profilers stood at 185 plus 15 Revenue Customs and 3 Social Protection trained assets profilers, making a total of 203 throughout the country.
Since its statutory inception in October 1996 and up to 31 December 2015 the Bureau:
· Has obtained interim orders (freezing orders) to the value of over €80 million, STG£18,783,372 and US$6,633,049 and Interlocutory Orders (final restraint orders) to the value of over €58 million, STG£3,080,498 and $6,077,710 USD;
· Taxes and interest demanded was over €261 million, with over € 149 million collected; and
· Made social welfare savings of over €7.2 million and recoveries of over €3.4 million.
The Annual Report is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality (www.justice.ie).