The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is currently investigating thirteen files in the Tipperary Garda Division having received reports of suspected wealth as a result of the proceeds of crime, the Tipperary Star can reveal this week.
The Bureau, which stripped convicted drug baron John Gilligan of many of his assets, was established in the wake of the murder of Irish Independent crime journalist Veronica Guerin back in 1996, and has enjoyed considerable success with its operations ever since.
Many of the assets seized have been disposed of and the proceeds returned to the exchequer, head of CAB, Chief Superintendent, Patrick Clavin, told the Tipperary Joint Policing Committee at its quarterly meeting.
Chief Superintendent Clavin revealed that more and more information is coming to CAB from members of the general public and he pointed out that any information given is strictly confidential. Furthermore, there is no requirement for sources to give evidence in court, as the CAB investigators will work off the information provided and probe the defendants to find evidence of assets derived from the proceeds of crime, if they exist.
“We currently have eight Gardai in the Tipperary Division trained up to work as asset profilers with us and at present there are eleven full investigations underway, as well as two preliminary ones,” Chief Supt. Clavin said.
Drug related proceeds of crime is at the background of the vast majority of the investigations, but rural burglaries have become another significant area, according to the CAB officers who have encouraged people to come forward with information. CAB can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org by calling 01 6663266, or through any of the Garda Stations.
In many cases, investigations have found that wealth has been derived through bona fide means and those under investigation would not have even been aware that their assets have been examined - CAB has unique powers to investigate bank accounts etc. and many other policing authorities from around the globe are coming to Ireland to see how the Bureau works and to model their own approach to asset seizure on the CAB one.
The thirteen Tipperary files are spread right across the Division and may, or may not, lead to prosecutions, depending on the findings of the investigations.