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We'll grab EU gangs' cash, vows Shatter

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has said he will continue to lobby for a European Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in a bid to crack down on organised crime.

He revealed how over €46m worth of assets had so far been obtained by court order as a result of CAB investigations in Ireland.



RICHES



In what has been deemed a huge success, it has also been responsible for yielding €180m from back tax from those engaged in criminal activities.

However, he said that it was imperative that a similar model to CAB was rolled out across Europe in order to really target gang members.

Mr Shatter said more work needed to be done in cracking down on the "riches they've concealed" which they can then access once they are released from prison.

"Too many of our gangland criminals are sitting in places like Marbella and Amsterdam, leading the rich life. An initiative I instigated at European level is to try and ensure the CAB model is replicated in every European country so we have a framework in place," he said.

"Those engaged in gangland in Ireland who have used their assets to acquire properties abroad will discover there's no hiding place. We'll have sister organisations in every EU country who we can rely on to secure the assets of those who have gained from their criminality."

And he pledged to continue to support the work of the Garda in continuing to tackle criminals who have ruined so many lives.



COMPLACENT



"They have no respect for human life and that lack of respect extends to the products they sell -- the drugs they bring to the street are destroying lives in our cities and towns," he continued. "They have done it over the decades, they continue to do it and they have no concern for the lives they're destroying.

"It's my job to ensure that An Garda Siochana have the resources and the support from all political parties on all levels in the work they do."

He was speaking at the launch of Paul Williams' new book Badfellas which was launched at the Harcourt Hotel last night.

But he said he could "never be complacent" about the fight against organised criminality.

"Unfortunately as one gang disappears and a group is sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, there always seems to be another group to fill their space," he added.

mfinn@herald.ie


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