Criminal Assets Bureau targeting 20 major criminals in Kilkenny area
THE Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is now targeting 20 criminals operating the Kilkenny-Carlow area.
CAB has seen its operations expand significantly in recent years and has more than doubled the number of targets on its books in the past two years.
This number jumped from 600 to 973 this year, with briefings given by CAB officers to joint policing committees around the country credited for a major portion of the increase.
Most of the CAB targets are now operating outside of the capital.
Some 48pc of them are based in Dublin, with the west of the city accounting for 177, a further 110 in the south, 80 in the north, 46 in north central division, 37 in south central and only a dozen in the east.
Outside of the capital, Limerick city and county tops the list with 72 targets, followed by 40 each in Meath and Wexford, while Kildare has 38, Louth 33, Tipperary 29, Cavan-Monaghan 25, Kerry and Offaly 22 each, Kilkenny-Carlow 20, Cork city 18 and Galway division 17.
CAB officers expect that by the end of 2018, this will have been their busiest ever year in the courts with headline figures for assets seized and tax and social welfare debts collected more than matching the big returns achieved in 2017.
The bureau is continuing to increase its drive against the main players in the travelling gangs responsible for the huge surge in burglaries and other rural crime in the past few years.
At present, 78 of those on the target list are suspected of amassing unexplained wealth from involvement in burglaries.
CAB served 18 tax assessments against top burglary suspects during the year, compared with seven in 2017.
Most of the CAB targets are living in modest homes, basing themselves in local authority houses close to where they grew up, but then spend large sums on major refurbishments and flashy cars.
According to gardai, most of the CAB targets’ property investments are confined to mobile homes in the South East.