Over €7 million worth of assets was frozen by the High Court in 2017 in cases brought by the Criminal Assets Bureau, an increase of more than ten-fold on the previous year.

The figures are contained in CAB's annual report for 2017, published today.

The bureau brought 28 new proceeds of crime cases before the High Court in 2017.

The value of assets frozen in these cases was €7.02 million, compared with €643,000 in 2016.

The report said that the figure should be viewed in connection with a more than doubling of the number of cases commenced in the same period.

The report shows that 28 new cases commenced during 2017 - the largest number of proceeds of crime cases commenced in a single year since the inception of the bureau.

CAB says that, during 2017, over €4.3m was returned to the Exchequer through proceeds of crime legislation, revenue and social protection provisions.

This was an increase of €500,000 on 2016.

Among the new emerging trends identified by CAB were the use of the motor trade to conceal criminal assets, and the use of crypto currency for asset transfer.