Record high number of proceeds of crime cases brought to court last year

The number of proceeds of crime cases brought to the Irish courts by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) reached an all-time high last year, according to new figures.

The CAB brought 31 new proceeds of crime cases last year, the highest number in its 24-year history, according to its annual report for 2019.

The majority of the actions were taken against assets gained from the proceeds of drug trafficking, followed by actions relating to frauds and thefts of various categories.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “’Criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated in concealing their assets, which has necessitated changes in policing.

“CAB’s success in bringing a record number of cases before the court in 2019 demonstrates their commitment and determination to their mission, and ability to counter the changing strategies of criminals.”

The CAB’s annual report also reveals that officers recovered over €3.9 million last year using their statutory powers, including €1.6 million recovered under proceeds of crime legislation, €2 million collected under Revenue legislation and over €300,000 recovered in social welfare overpayments.

It also froze nearly €65 million in assets, a significant increase on the previous year, primarily due to the granting of a freezing order over cryptocurrency valued at €53 million.

Mr Flanagan added: “’CAB’s achievements in 2019 continue to demonstrate its continuing value to law enforcement in Ireland. I am pleased that CAB continues to carry out their important work during this period.”

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