Cash, cars, livestock and homes worth €7m seized - Criminals reeling as CAB targets gangs behind rural raids
A FRESH emphasis on the organised crime and travelling gangs responsible for the nationwide burglary spree of the past few years has been a major factor in a 10-fold increase in the value of seizures by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
One hundred assets frozen by the courts under the Proceeds of Crime Act as a result of bureau activities in 2017 were valued at more than €7m.
This compared with a total value of €643,000 for assets seized the previous year.
A breakdown of the seizures includes cash worth €3.5m, property valued at €2.4m, €839,000 of vehicles, jewellery worth €126,000 and livestock valued at €29,600.
The details contained in the bureau’s annual report showed a record figure of 28 new investigations initiated last year, while the number of new cases taken to the courts under section 2 of the legislation also jumped significantly, from 36 to 100.
Activity by the bureau in all categories is on the increase, with tax collected by Revenue officers attached to the unit up from €2.1m to €2.37m and social welfare overpayments recovered by seconded social welfare officials rising from €297,000 to €319,000.
In the report, bureau head Det Chief Supt Pat Clavin said 28 new applications were brought before the High Court under the Proceeds of Crime legislation, compared with 13 in 2016, and the majority of those arose from the profits of drug trafficking.