THE Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has urged the “dogs in the street” to start talking to authorities to help bring down the drug dealing and criminal gangs of Cork.
CAB Chief Bureau Officer Patrick Clavin said that they are often told: “the dogs in the street know who the criminals are, but sometimes the dogs on the street don’t know our phone number.”
Speaking at a meeting of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee, Mr Clavin urged people to contact CAB with information on local criminals and offered assurances that it would be received in the strictest of confidence.
“You will never be required to give evidence in court. You have absolute protection. We are just looking for good targets for the future,” Mr Clavin said.
He said that people often have the perception that CAB only goes after “godfathers” but said they were also interested in “the local drug dealer driving a €100,000 SUV around the estate.”
He added: “If a mother or a father were concerned about the local drug dealer that appeared to be doing well from selling to their children, they might contact us by telephone, by email or through Crimestoppers.”
He said there are 11 profilers working in Cork on 16 investigations in the city.
Following amendments made to the Proceeds Of Crime legislation in 2016, Mr Clavin said they can now tackle lower end crime as well as the big fish.
He said: “Most criminality is drug-related, the next biggest is burglaries, organised prostitution, and then smuggling — cigarette smuggling, fuel smuggling etc.”
“We operate under civil law, meaning we must prove our case to the balance of probability, not beyond reasonable doubt. Sometimes you might have a burglary gang that is using the road network and we will catch them with what we believe to be the proceeds of crime, but we can’t identify the property back to individuals.
“In those cases, our powers are very useful because we can say because they are criminals and they have unexplained wealth, we can satisfy a court that on the balance of probabilities it’s the proceeds of criminal conduct.”
The Criminal Assets Bureau can be contacted on 016663266, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or through Crimestoppers 1800250025.