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The Criminal Assets Bureau has returned almost €10 million to the taxpayer since 2018

Over €5 million has come from Revenue investigations with CAB.

File photo. The CAB frequently publicises its seizures and investigations.
File photo. The CAB frequently publicises its seizures and investigations.
Image: An Garda Síochána

THE CRIMINAL ASSETS Bureau (CAB) has returned in excess of €9.5 million to the taxpayer since the beginning of 2018, the latest figures have shown. 

Over €5 million of this has come from Revenue legislation where the CAB can recover unpaid tax.

A further €647,000 came from the recovery of social welfare overpayments.

According to figures released to Social Democrat co-leader Catherine Murphy, €3.92 million has also been returned to the Exchequer under Proceeds of Crime legislation in the past two-and-a-half years.

Under such legislation, CAB can freeze and seize assets which it shows to the High Court are the proceeds of criminal conduct. The bureau works closely with An Garda Síochána and frequently participates in significant operations against organised crime gangs. 

Once a freezing order is secured, it can be challenged in court. If it isn’t challenged or if that challenged is lost, the money can be returned to the State. 

In 2018, €2,271,800 was returned to the State under this legislation. In 2019, a further €1,559,727 was returned.

In the year so far to the end of June, that figure was €95,487.

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There have nevertheless been significant operations by CAB in recent months. On 30 June, over €1 million was seized after significant raids in Dublin and Wicklow. A further €110,000 in cash and a number of vehicles were seized in Longford.

According to the figures released by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to Murphy, there was a total €5.6 million given to the State in 2018 and a further €3.9 million in 2019. 

Minister McEntee said: “Since its inception, the Bureau has been at the forefront of fighting organised crime in this jurisdiction and disrupting the activities of criminal gangs by depriving them of ill-gotten assets.

The actions of the Bureau send a strong message to criminals and to local communities that profiting from crime will not be tolerated.

In an appeal late last year, the CAB and gardaí issued a public appeal for members of the public to contact them if they suspect someone they know is “living on the proceeds of crime”.

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Sean Murray

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