Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) returned €6.359 million worth of "ill-gotten gains" to the Exchequer in 2022 and has now seized more than €210 million worth of assets since it was founded in 1996.
CAB's remit is to target a person's assets, which derive, or are suspected to derive, from criminal activity.
Last year, CAB seized assets ranging in value from €9,718 to €1,948,147.
Among the items seized by CAB in 2022 were Rolex, Breitling, and Hublot watches, Christian Louboutin shoes, Louis Vuitton bags, and luxury cars.
The CAB's annual report for 2022 detailed some of the actions that it carried out throughout the year, including a judgment that it secured against Kinahan gang member Graham Whelan, who was jailed in November 2021.
"The Bureau contended that the respondent is a key member of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (OCG), an international OCG involved in the importation and distribution of drugs and firearms," CAB said in its annual report.
"On 31 January 2019, the respondent was apprehended on foot of a drugs warrant executed by gardaí in a room in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin."
The report added that gardaí found a drugs "tick list," six mobile phones, and an "Encrochat" device used by sophisticated drug dealers during the 2019 arrest. They also discovered a small quantity of controlled drugs, a small amount of cash, and a €28,000 Audemars Piguet watch.
Speaking after the release of CAB's annual report, Ireland's Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the organization has continued to build on the good work it carried out in 2021.
"Between 1996 and 2022, CAB denied and deprived criminals of over €210 million of assets that were returned to the Exchequer," McEntee said in a statement.
"Of this, €35.5 million was under the proceeds of crime legislation, €169 million was from revenue collections and over €5.8 million in social welfare recoveries.
McEntee referenced the Community Safety Innovation Fund, which was established in 2021 to reinvest the proceeds of crime back into the community.
"I’m delighted that we have been able to increase the size of this fund to €3.75 million under Budget 2024, reflective of the continued success of An Garda Síochána and CAB.
"Putting this money back into the community is a really tangible way of showing that there can be a direct link between the activities of law enforcement and building stronger, safer communities.
"I am also determined to further strengthen the legislation underpinning CAB. Work is ongoing on the General Scheme of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2023, which I hope to bring to Government by the end of the year."