The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has returned over €5m in crime money to the State in 2020.
Their annual report, which was released today, said the money seized was the proceeds of organised crime, money laundering, tax evasion and social welfare theft.
Along with organised crime groups, it also targeted tax evaders, social welfare fraudsters, and the laundered assets of the former Nigerian military head of state Gen Abacha, who died in 1998, which amounted to €5.5m. The funds, laundered with the help of General Abacha's son, Mohammed Sani Abacha, were discovered in a financial institution here and was returned to Nigeria last October.
45 individuals and corporate entities were assessed as owing over €10m in taxes along with almost €250,000 seized as part of an investigation into a doctor from the United States who had been struck off the medical register but was found to be treating cancer patients in Co. Clare.
CAB also became the first law enforcement agency in the world to seize suspected criminal assets in the cryptocurrency Ethereum taking posession of €53 million in Bitcoin, but it does not have the codes to realise those assets. Instead, an online auction was arranged where Bitcoin, watches, jewellery, designer clothes, footwear and handbags, as well as high end cars, luggage, a drone, boat engine and a small Gyro aircraft were sold.
The Government said today it intends to establish a Community Safety Innovation Fund which will allow for some of the money and assets seized by CAB to be invested in community safety projects.
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