Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has today published the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) 2021 Annual Report.
The 2021 report marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the CAB and the positive figures included in report highlight the success of Bureau in tackling organised crime to date.
Between 1996 and 2021, a total of €204 million has been returned to the exchequer, comprising €165 million in tax settlements, €33 million in proceeds of crime and €6 million in Social Welfare recoupments. Over 360 Proceeds of Crime cases have been brought to the Courts, involving almost €170 million in assets.
The 2021 report shows that in 2021 CAB returned in excess of €5.5 million to the Exchequer, which comprised of €4.4 million in Revenue Settlements, €1.14 million in Proceeds of Crime and €0.364 million in Social Welfare recoveries.
On publishing the report, Minister McEntee said:
“CAB has been a vital tool in our arsenal in the fight against organised crime.
“CAB hits criminals where it hurts – in their pockets – by targeting the ill-gotten gains of criminal conduct.
“In 2021, the 25th anniversary of the Bureau, over €5.5 million was returned to the exchequer. I am also pleased to note the recovery and return in one notable instance of €5.4 million to six defrauded injured parties.
“Earlier this year I launched the Community Safety Innovation Fund Scheme which will reinvest proceeds of crime seized by CAB back into the communities that need it.
“We are also looking at how best to support CAB in its important work - last year my Department completed a review which presented a number of recommendations.
“One which I am intending to pursue as a priority is reducing the timeframe for the making of a ‘disposal order’.
“At the moment, once the High Court has determined that an asset is a proceed of crime, it can take a further seven years before it may be ultimately confiscated.
“My intention is to substantially reduce the statutory timeframe before a ‘Disposal Order' can be made from seven years. Reducing this period would mean that those who generate criminal assets cannot benefit from them for extended periods.
“It would send a message to those involved in organised criminality that they will not be allowed to enjoy the profits of their illegal activity, and it will show communities that we take organised crime extremely seriously.
And I also want to give CAB the power to publish the names and specified details of tax defaulters who have made settlements with the Bureau.
“Subject to the advices of the Attorney General I hope to be in a position to finalise a General Scheme for new legislation to progress these proposals and others by the end of the year.”
The Criminal Asset Bureau Annual Report 2021 can be accessed here: https://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/CAB_Annual_Report_2021.pdf/Files/CAB_Annual_Report_2021.pdf