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Garda Press

Criminals never know they are being investigated by the Criminal Assets Bureau, says agency boss

“They wouldn’t know [and] the financial institution would be forbidden to tell them.”

CRIMINALS UNDER INVESTIGATION by the Criminal Assets Bureau never know they are being targeted until a search is carried out on their property, the agency’s chief has said.

CAB is currently targeting 1,075 individuals which it is investigating over suspicions that they are benefiting from crime.

Around 45% of those cases are based in the greater Dublin area while the other 55% of cases are spread throughout the rest of the country.

Speaking on Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ One last night, Detective Chief Superintendent, Pat Clavin said CAB teams can investigate individual financial details without ever alerting the individual.

By the time teams arrive from the CAB to carry out searches of individual “the work is 90% done”, Clavin said.

We tend to do a lot of investigations very quietly and when we would carry out searches we know what we’re looking for.

“We know what documents we’re looking for… records [that] we’re looking to preserve, items that might be disposed of – but before that, we would have got orders from the courts to look at bank accounts, to look at lifestyles and transactions.

“They wouldn’t know [and] the financial institution would be forbidden to tell them.”

The organisation aims to recover any assets or wealth obtained through crime and does so through the courts, a tax on wealth, or recovery through social welfare.

“We were going through our results recently and in the courts situation we seem to win about 98% of the cases… that’s not to say we haven’t lost cases,” Clavin said.

We’re a bureau that only deals with criminals and our sole purpose is to take their assets from them.”

He said members of the public can report their suspicions in complete confidence and would never be compelled to testify.

“If you report an assault you will end up required to go to court and give evidence,” he said.

“If you report your suspicions about somebody that has criminal assets, we will never require that member of the public to give evidence.

“We will conduct our own investigations and the member of the public will be treated in absolute confidence, and they will never be identified to anybody.”

The CAB is a multi-agency organisation that works with resources within An Garda, Revenue and customs, and the Department of Employment and Social Protection.

There are currently 350 Gardaí throughout the country who are trained Asset Profilers with a specific responsibility to report any assets earned in an illegal way.

It also works with foreign organisations including Interpol and the National Crime Agency in the UK.

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