#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

Criminal Assets Bureau boss says 'mini-CAB' units across Ireland will 'dilute' the strength of the agency

Clavin also said that profilers have been told to target man caves in people’s gardens.

Pat Clavin said it would 'dilute' the agency.
Pat Clavin said it would 'dilute' the agency.
Image: Leah Farrell

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF regional or local criminal assets units would “dilute what CAB does”, according to the bureau chief. 

Plans were outlined in the programme of government, published in 2016, to establish regional or local “mini-CAB” offices in a bid to crack down on local criminal’s benefiting from the proceeds of crime.

Detective Chief Supt. Pat Clavin, who heads up CAB, said such a move would be detrimental to the resources and capabilities of the agency. 

“We are constantly in discussions with the Department about new legislation and if we spot new trends we’ll always be passing it on to our policy people,” he said in an address at the Institute for International and European Affairs. 

“The Government commits to examining how communities can better engage with CAB, including the provision of information on the suspected local use of the proceeds of crime. 

“The Government commits to examining how communities can better engage with CAB, including the provision of information on the suspected local use of the proceeds of crime and the potential of a smaller CAB being established to target regional or local assets. 

“We as a body are against mini-CABS, or local CABs or regional CABs. We think the CAB that we have is quite a unique CAB as it is, it has 91 people, compared to 17,000 in An Garda Síochana, and 7,000 in Revenue, maybe 10,000 in social welfare.

We think it would dilute what CAB does if you try to create local or regional Cabs. 

Clavin said he would continue to work closely with the department and as an alternative the agency toured the country between 2017 and 2018, briefing the joint-policing committee on local councils. 

During an interview on the Claire Byrne in April, Clavin reported that some 1,075 people were being investigated by CAB. Today, he confirmed that there are 200 more people being investigated now than six months ago. 

“We have a map that shows in 2016 we had about 600 personal targets throughout the state. That’s gone to 1,321 in September gone. 

“Of this about half of our targets are in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), just slightly less than half, and slight more than half are outside of the GDA. 

West Dublin between Finglas and Rathcoole had the highest number at 235 targets, which is “twice the numbers in the next five areas”. Limerick city and county was the next area to come in below that. 

 Men’s sheds

CAB has trained members of An Garda Síochana to act as profilers in local areas across the country, watching for things like bullet-proof windows and luxury vehicles. 

One area which profilers have been warned to look out for is “man caves” popping up in resident’s backgardens. 

“Profilers are trained to be the eyes and ears of CAB in the local division – to spot likely targets, submit a profile report, conduct local enquiries and very importantly for us, if they know a person’s background, they can swear what we call a criminal conduct affidavit. 

“We tell profilers to look out for evidence of wealth, houses with bullet proof windows and doors, and these are not your trophy homes. These are often three bedroom modest houses in local authority areas.

“And excessive spending on renovations in what I call a man cave. The shed at the bottom of the garden, which is converted into a man’s room so the man can go out and do his coke and drink his beer, free from all interference from the outside world. 

“It’s usually a sign that something’s not right.”

Earlier this year, the agency carried out both its lowest and highest value of assets suspected to be bought with the proceeds of crime. 

In July, it targeted €5,010 in assets – it’s lowest ever asset value – while at the same time targeting the “highest single asset value in a case, which was over €50 million in bitcoin”.

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel