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A number of vacancies at the Criminal Assets Bureau have yet to be filled

Despite controversies over the appointment of senior positions within the force, staff there have yet to be replaced.

Image: Niall Carson

VACANCIES IN THE office of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) have yet to be filled as the issue of an under-resourced force rears its head again.

CAB is hiring a forensic accountant and a financial crime analyst to bolster the bureau which is made up with gardaí, revenue inspectors and civil servants from the departments of social protection and justice.

There are currently 71 members of CAB who work on freezing the assets of they suspect were acquired using the proceeds of crime.

Senior roles

Frances Fitzgerald said there are a ”number of vacancies at the bureau are currently in the process of being filled including both a forensic accountant and a financial crime analyst vacancy”.

The news comes as the government approved a number of promotions to fill vacancies at Assistant Commissioner, Chief Superintendent and Superintendent in An Garda Síochána.

In total, 11 appointments have been approved by Cabinet. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said the government is determined that there is no undue delay in filling critical garda vacancies.

Over €7 million has been spent on the bureau this year with an extra €500,000 being earmarked for 2017.

Asset seizures

Gardaí have also increased the number of planned raids on premises in recent months.

CAB was set up in 1996 in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Veronica Guerin

Last month, 46 cars and significant amounts of cash, jewelry and watches were seized.

Around 20 premises were raided in a series of searches , including car showrooms, garages and solicitor and accountancy offices.

Dublin crime gang raids Source: Niall Carson/PA

It’s understood that the raids were part of an ongoing operation into the serious organised criminal activity of a west Dublin gang and the suspected laundering of the proceeds of such criminality.

Whilst CAB is performing well, senior security sources have said that some members of the force are unhappy with the vacancies at CAB.

There have also been claims that it was taking too long for the bureau to deal with files sent from certain districts on serious criminals.

However, a garda spokesman said the level of staffing is adequate and that the bureau had, in fact, been more productive if anything over the past six months.

Dublin crime gang raids Source: Niall Carson/PA

Fitzgerald said she was “committed to making sure the necessary resources are made available to the bureau from within the available public finances”.

However, the extra €500,000 budgeted for 2017 won’t make much of a difference to CAB, according to security sources.

Fitzgerald said the resources of the bureau are, and will continue to be, kept under ongoing review by both the Criminal Assets Bureau and her department.

Read: Travellers protest in Mayo after Syrian refugee family accommodated in local authority house >

Read: Number of homeless children in Dublin has doubled since last year >

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