A new bill passed by the Seanad will provide Criminal Assets Bureau Officers with additional powers to target organised crime according to Clare’s only member of the house.
Fine Gael Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Justice Martin Conway, has welcomed the passing of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill by the Dáil, following its recent passage by the Seanad.
CAB officers now have the power to seize property which they suspect to be the proceeds of crime and detain it for 24 hours. The Chief Bureau Officer will be empowered to authorise its detention for a further 21 days. During this period CAB will be able to prepare an application to the High Court for an interim restraining order which would prevent the disposal of the property in the meantime.
There is also a reduction in the threshold value of property which can be pursued by CAB under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996. It is to be reduced from €13,000 to €5,000. The provision is being introduced in support of the work of the Bureau in targeting the middle value proceeds of crime held by those involved in organised crime.
Conway feels CAB will now have more power to stop organised crime. “These are key new powers to allow CAB to tackle organised crime. It gives them the powers they need to move quickly to seize the proceeds of crime and to target the middle value assets that were beyond their reach up to now”.
He added “This Bill is one of a range of additional measures to tackle organised crime announced just a few weeks ago by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald. As Seanad Spokesperson on Justice I was very happy to play my role in steering this important legislation though the Seanad”.