CRIMINALS who make deals with the Criminal Assets Bureau will be named and shamed, Helen McEntee said.
And the justice minister said she also wanted to speed up the process of targeting criminal assets as part of new plans for the Bureau.
Seizing properties can currently take up to seven years, with CAB agents currently seeking to get in touch with cartel leader Daniel Kinahan so they can seize a mansion in Dublin.
However, Minister McEntee hopes to see the long process expedited so that crime figures cannot enjoy their ill-gotten gains for too long.
She was speaking ahead of today’s launch of the 2021 annual report which shows CAB returned more than €5.5m to the public treasury and deprived criminals of their ill-gotten gains for the sum of €10.9m euros.
The amount returned to the state included €4.4 million in revenue settlements, €1.14 million in proceeds of crime and €0.364 million in social security recoveries.
The 2021 report marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the CAB, which was created following the murders of Garda Detective Jerry McCabe and journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996.
Between 1996 and 2021, a total of €204 million was returned to the Public Treasury, including €165 million in tax settlements, €33 million in proceeds of crime and €6 million in aid recoveries social.
Previous CAB targets also include mobster John Gilligan, George “The Penguin” Mitchell, and Kinahan associate Liam Byrne.
More than 360 proceeds of crime cases have been brought to court, involving almost €170 million in assets.
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The number of assets over which orders have been made by the High Court has increased from 102 in 2020 to 360 assets in 2021 – with a total value of €8,386,853.
This included designer properties, cars, jewelry and clothing – with branded goods from Canada Goose, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Cartier among the flashy items seized.
Upon the release of the report, Minister McEntee said, “The CAB has been an essential tool in our arsenal in the fight against organized crime.
“CAB hits criminals where it hurts – in their pockets – by targeting the ill-gotten gains of criminal conduct.
“In 2021, the year of the 25th anniversary of the Office, more than 5.5 million euros were donated to the Public Treasury. I am also pleased to note the recovery and return in one notable case of 5.4 million euros to six defrauded injured parties.
“Earlier this year, I launched the Community Safety Innovation Fund program which will reinvest the proceeds of crime seized by the CAB into communities in need.
THE POWERS OF THE CABIN TO ACT FASTER
“We are also considering how best to support the CAB in its important work – last year my department completed a review which presented a number of recommendations.
“One of which I intend to pursue as a priority is reducing the time for making a ‘disposal order’.
“At present, once the High Court has determined that a property is proceeds of crime, it can take another seven years before it is finally confiscated.
“My intention is to significantly reduce the legal time before a ‘disposal order’ can be made from seven years. Reducing this period would mean that those who generate criminal assets would not be able to benefit from it for long periods.
“It would send a message to those involved in organized crime that they will not be allowed to profit from the profits of their illegal activity, and it would show communities that we take organized crime very seriously.
“And I also want to give the CAB the power to publish the names and specified details of tax defaulters who have reached settlements with the Bureau.
“Subject to advice from the Attorney General, I hope to be able to finalize a broad outline of new legislation to advance these and other proposals in the fall.”