More than €5.6m recovered by CAB including cryptocurrency Ethereum
In excess of €5.6m was returned to the Exchequer as a result of Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) actions in 2018, which also included the seizure of cryptocurrency Ethereum – a worldwide first – according to a new report.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan laid CAB’s 2018 Annual Report before the Oireachtas today.
CAB also brought 30 new proceedings before the High Court in 2018, the highest number in a single year since its establishment.
The 2018 Report highlights the key activities undertaken by the Bureau during the year. During 2018, in excess of €5.6m was returned to the Exchequer as a result of CAB actions, including over €2.272m returned under Proceeds of Crime legislation, €3.097m collected under Revenue legislation and €0.323m recovered in Social Welfare overpayments.
In addition, the Bureau brought thirty new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court in 2018, the highest number of new cases commenced in a single year since its establishment. The value of assets frozen during the year under section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 was €8.393m. Furthermore, taxes and interest demanded was valued at €14.99m.
Mr Flanagan welcomed the emphasis placed by CAB on targeting organised crime gangs engaged in serious and organised property crime, such as aggravated burglaries.
He said that he was also pleased to hear that the Bureau has provided briefings to all 36 Joint Policing Committees on its activities and how information provided by local communities can assist the Bureau in dismantling criminal groups, saying: “I understand that these briefings have been very well received by all concerned and that they have resulted in increased numbers of referrals to the Bureau from local communities.”
He added: “I am particularly pleased to hear about the continuing expansion and development of the Divisional Asset Profiler Network which now includes some 378 trained profilers throughout the State. These are key local level personnel who support the development and progress of investigations.”
The Minister also noted the reference in the Annual Report to the Bureau’s seizures of cryptocurrencies ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Ethereum.’ The seizure of Ethereum is a first for law enforcement worldwide.
Mr Flanagan said: “The Criminal Assets Bureau’s 2018 Annual Report evidences the hard work and dedication of all of the staff and agencies involved in CAB and I would like to thank them for their ongoing efforts and determination to deprive people of the benefits of their criminal activity. This Government is fully committed to continuing to support the excellent work that the Bureau does.”