Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 66 - Criminal Assets Bureau [32682/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 66 - Criminal Assets Bureau [32682/17]. (12 Jul 2017)

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66. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality  the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau at local and regional levels; and the work of the profiling groups that are targeting lower and middle level drug dealing in communities in Dublin. [32682/17]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan):  The Criminal Assets Bureau takes actions under the Proceeds of Crime Acts 1996 to 2016 to deprive or to deny persons of assets which derive, or are suspected to derive, directly or indirectly from criminal conduct; or the benefit of such assets.


  Sections 2 and 3 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 provide the mechanism under which the Bureau can apply to the High Court seeking to freeze or restrain a person /entities dealing with a specific asset. In accordance with these provisions, the High Court may, in circumstances where an interim order or interlocutory order under that legislation is in place, appoint a receiver in respect of the property to which the order relates.


  Section 4 provides for the transfer of property to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. This Section refers to assets which have been deemed to be the proceeds of criminal conduct, for a period of not less than seven years, and over which no valid claim has been made under Section 3(3) of the Proceeds of Crime Act.


  Section 4A allows for a consent disposal order to be made by the respondent, thus allowing the property to be transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in a period shorter than seven years.


  In accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996 an annual report on the activities of the Bureau is prepared and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.


The reports include details of the number of receivership orders obtained, the values of such orders and the amounts realised by the Bureau to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for the benefit of the Central Exchequer in the particular year. The Annual Reports are available in the Oireachtas library and on the website of An Garda Síochána and my Department  . The Annual Report of the Bureau for 2016 is awaiting publication in the coming weeks.


  Asset Profilers trained by the Bureau provide a criminal asset profiling service in each Garda Division in relation to persons or suspects operating within their area, with particular reference to those involved in serious criminal activity. Currently the number of trained Garda Asset Profilers is 288 plus Revenue Customs and Social Protection trained asset profilers making a total of 311 asset profilers throughout the State.


  To further assist the Bureau 6 additional members of An Garda Siochana were temporarily seconded to the Criminal Assets Bureau to support the operation of the recently established Special Crime Task Force.


  The Deputy will be aware from media reports that a series of targeted search operations conducted in the recent past resulted in local criminals being targeted, these criminals having been nominated by either the CAB Profilers or the Special Crime Task Force.


  With regard to the specific information sought, I can inform the Deputy that this information is not available. The Bureau operates on a national basis, targeting assets wherever they are situated and the Bureau does not record its activities on a geographical basis.


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