It looks like the popularity of Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau is about to hit stratospheric levels with the news that it is to target building developers and could confiscate assets valued at hundreds of millions of euro following the granting of a High Court order to freeze lands worth €61 million allegedly rezoned through planning corruption, according to an article in the Irish Times.
The lands, at Carrickmines, south Dublin, at the centre of the ruling are owned by businessman and arcade owner Jim Kennedy and solicitor John Caldwell, through Jackson Way Properties Ltd.
Amendments last year to the Proceeds of Crime Act empowered the bureau to confiscate the proceeds of corruption and not just crime.
If this test case succeeds, Bureau officers have apparently already drawn up a list of future targets that the planning tribunal has heard made millions from planning corruption. The figures that CAB could take in dwarf the biggest settlements the Bureau has reached with gangland criminals in the past 10 years.
The Irish Times reports that the CAB intends to use Frank Dunlop as a “star witness” against a number of developers on whose behalf he says he bribed councillors.