Twenty-five years of the Cab: The agency forcing Irish criminals to flee abroad

In the News: Criminal Assets Bureau established to target finances of gangland groups

Just over 25 years ago, the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) was established in the wake of the killings of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe and journalist Veronica Guerin.

The murders had shocked the nation and served as a wake-up call to the authorities that they were losing the fight against gangland criminals and paramilitary groups.

Under the new rules of engagement, the Cab was able to target the finances of those who it knew were behind serious crime but who had consistently evaded the threshold of a criminal conviction.

Homes, cars, jewellery and all the other trappings of success that had become the hallmark of the criminal gangs were targeted.


Those who could not be hit with criminal convictions were hit with massive tax bills.

Then the criminals grew wise to the new threats they were facing with many taking their activities off shore.

Irish Times Crime and Security Editor Conor Lally talks to Conor Pope about the Cab story and the difference it has made in the fight against organised crime in Ireland.