There were 50 individuals and organizations targeted and under investigation by the CAB Criminal Assets Bureau in Offaly and Laois at the end of December 2021. In addition, a number of properties in the two counties are now in possession from the office. The figures are contained in the CAB’s annual report for 2021.
In 2021, the Bureau obtained proceeds of crime asset orders in all major urban areas and rural communities. The Bureau is further developing its national coverage by commissioning divisional asset profilers. “This will ensure the bureau focuses on local criminal targets statewide,” the report said.
The Office’s statutory aims and objectives require it to take appropriate measures to prevent those involved in serious organized crime from benefiting from such crime.
He continues to note the interest in high-value vehicles from those involved in serious organized crime. In 2021, the bureau targeted a number of vehicles belonging to criminals.
He also seized high-end luxury goods such as store cards, designer handbags, designer clothes and shoes, watches and mobile homes,
In one case, an individual came to the attention of the Office following the seizure by the local Gardaí of cash, two motorcycles, a trailer for transporting motorcycles, foreign currency and a quantity of branded items. The Bureau’s investigation determined that the seized items were in the person’s possession at a time when he or she did not have the legitimate income to cover the expenses associated with the items. These items included €29,110 in cash, a Kawasaki KX 250 motorcycle, a Honda CRF 250 motorcycle, a Westwood trailer for transporting the motorcycles. Designer items worth over €30,000, which include; Gucci Ophidia wallet, Gucci belts, Moncler sneakers, baseball cap, jackets, Louis Vuitton sunglasses, wallets, backpack and Valentino sneakers.
The High Court held that the assets in this case were derived from the proceeds of criminal conduct, namely the sale and supply of controlled drugs.
A person receiving a means-tested disability benefit was investigated by officers from the Social Welfare Office. Following searches of the individual’s home, cash, brand name items and high quality watches were seized. It transpired that the individual also had a number of previously undeclared bank accounts which showed large cash deposits. During the investigation, when questioned, the individual was unable to account for the large cash payments made to these accounts. He was also unable to account for the branded items in his possession. Furthermore, it turned out that this person had taken a certain number of holidays, which was incompatible with the fact that a person was receiving means-tested social benefits for an extended period. A revised decision was made regarding his welfare payment, resulting in an assessed overpayment. This overpayment has been notified and claimed. No appeal was filed against the revised decision. The individual entered into amicable negotiations with the Office for the reimbursement of his social debt. A total amount of €80,000 was received in compensation for the total and final clearance of his social debt.
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