Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond has welcomed today’s publication of the new Criminal Assets Bureau Strategic Plan for 2020-2023, stating that it must be fully used to bring gangland figures to heel.
Deputy Richmond said: “Today marks the first time that a Strategic Plan has been published by the Criminal Assets Bureau and is an important step forward in increasing the transparency of our policing. This new Strategic Plan for CAB will be vital in bringing down Dublin’s gang lords.
“In recent months we have seen notorious gangland figures attempt to whitewash their criminal reputation by passing themselves off as legitimate businesspeople including in international boxing.
“We need CAB now more than ever to bring the criminal enterprises such individuals have masterminded to heel.
“The CAB tackles crime by freezing and confiscating assets which are suspected to derive from crime, be it at the highest or mid-tier. This ensures that crime does not pay and stops mid-level crime from progressing.
“The CAB is at the forefront of our fight against organised crime and it must continue to be used as a tool to crush gangland crime in Dublin. The CAB has the mechanism to stop crime in its tracks; since 2016 the threshold for invoking the Proceeds of Crime act was reduced from €13,000 to €5,000, to widen the net of its enforcement.
“In 2019 CAB allowed for €3.9 million to be returned to the exchequer, with €65 million of assets frozen.
“The budget for the CAB has been increased to €9.1 million for 2020 to ensure that the funding is there to fully tackle these issues as they arise. Criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated in how they conceal their assets and so this increase in funding will ensure that changes in how they are policed are possible.
“We will not stand idly by while criminals profit off the misfortune of others. Nor will we allow the normalisation of figures deeply immersed in the world of gangland crime.”