€10m seized from criminal gangs in 2014Thursday 14 January 2016 22.31
The Criminal Assets Bureau has seized over €10m from travelling criminal gangs, dissident groups and drugs gangs according to its latest annual report.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald published the report for 2014, which shows that almost €4m was handed over to the exchequer in 2014 and more than €6.5m suspected of being the proceeds of crime was frozen.
As well as properties, cars, cash and jewellery, the CAB for the first time also seized the digital currency bitcoin from a drug dealer selling on the encrypted network Darknet.
In recent years the CAB has targeted the activities of dissident groups along the border, the six main travelling criminal gangs including that led by Andy Connors who was shot dead in Tallaght in 2014, and the main drugs gangs in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Sligo.
The report said the CAB returned €3.8m to the Exchequer and obtained High Court freezing orders for another €6.7m suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
The CAB pursued dissident republicans for Revenue offences due to their involvement in diesel laundering, cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting.
The Bureau seized over half a dozen properties, which it said have since increased in value as well as cars and jewellery.
The CAB also began selling goods on eBay, most notably Rolex watches and for the first time seized bitcoin from a convicted drug dealer.
The drug dealer, former eircom worker Neil Mannion, is serving six-and-a-half years for dealing cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines on the Darknet from an office in south Dublin city.
Ms Fitzgerald welcomed the increased focus by CAB on organised travelling gangs engaged in burglary and robbery.