CAB seizes assets worth €28 million in past five years

Minister for Justice says other countries want to develop Cab model because of its success

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab)seized €28 million in assets between 2011 and 2015, according to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab)seized €28 million in assets between 2011 and 2015, according to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

 

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab)seized €28 million in assets between 2011 and 2015, according to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

She said more than € 10 million was returned under the 1996 Proceeds of Crime Act, almost € 16.5 million was retrieved through Revenue legislation and € 1.5 million was returned through social welfare provisions.

The Tánaiste told Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan in a parliamentary question that several cases had been extensively litigated before the courts because of the strong powers contained in the 1998 Proceeds of Crime Act.

“While this can cause frustration, the courts are the ultimate arbiters of what is and is not permissible under the law in a particular case,” she said.

Mr Durkan asked if litigation meant the legislation needed strengthening.

The Tánaiste pointed out that she brought in additional legislation, the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, earlier this year in response to calls from the Cab.

That legislation gives additional powers to target the proceeds of crime and in particular powers for the immediate seizure of assets suspected of being the proceeds of crime. The legislation also changed the thresholds for seizure and the bureau is now permitted to seize assets with a value of €5,000. Previously only assets valued at €13,000 or more could be confiscated.

Ms Fitzgerald pointed out that “the work of the bureau is well regarded nationally and internationally and we are committed to supporting its work through the provision of the necessary resources”.

She said “other countries are quite interested in developing the Cab model we have developed here because of its success”.