A watch seized by CAB last year.

CAB seized over €6.3 million in 'ill-gotten gains' last year, including cars, bags and watches

Among the items it seized last year were luxury cars and Rolex, Breitling and Hublot watches.

THE CRIMINAL ASSETS Bureau (CAB) seized cash and cars, properties, watches and other items to the value of over €6.3 million last year, according to its annual report.

CAB said €6.359 million worth of “ill-gotten gains” were seized and returned to the Exchequer. CAB’s remit is to target a person’s assets, which derive, or are suspected to derive from criminal conduct.

Among the items it seized last year were luxury cars, Rolex, Breitling and Hublot watches, and Christine Louboutin shoes and Louis Vuitton bags.

The annual report details some of CAB’s actions throughout the year, including a judgement it secured against Dublin Graham Whelan.

“The Bureau contended that the respondent is a key member of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (OCG), an international OCG involved in the importation and distribution of drugs and firearms,” the report states.

On the 31 January 2019, the respondent was apprehended on foot of a drugs warrant executed by gardaí in a room in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin.

Gardaí found a drugs ‘tick list’, six mobile phones, including an “Encrochat” device used by sophisticated drug dealers and other criminals, a small quantity of controlled drugs, some cash and a €28,000 Audemars Piguet watch.

The High Court later upheld a decision to seize the watch as well as €75,000.

Commenting on the report, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said CAB continued to build on previous good work demonstrated in 2021. 

“Between 1996 and 2022, CAB denied and deprived criminals of over €210 million of assets that were returned to the Exchequer,” she said.

Of this, €35.5 million was under the proceeds of crime legislation, €169 million was from revenue collections and over €5.8 million in social welfare recoveries.

She also referenced the Community Safety Innovation Fund, which aims to reinvest the proceeds of crime back into local communities.

“Putting this money back into the community is a really tangible way of showing that there can be a direct link between the activities of law enforcement and building stronger, safer communities,” she said.

I am also determined to further strengthen the legislation underpinning CAB. Work is ongoing on the General Scheme of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2023, which I hope to bring to Government by the end of the year.