According to its annual report, the Criminal Assets Bureau deprived criminals of almost €11m in ill-gotten gains last year.
In all CAB returned €5.5m to the Exchequer and €5.4m to six victims of cryptocurrency theft.
The report notes that the crypto-theft involved ‘SIM-swapping’ and was uncovered in conjunction with US Homeland Security.
The report also notes that the bureau is investigating almost 18,000 people or organisations – a record number in its 25-year history.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee said CAB has been a “vital tool in our arsenal in the fight against organised crime” since it was established in 1996.
“CAB hits criminals where it hurts – in their pockets – by targeting the ill-gotten gains of criminal conduct,” she said.
In its 25 years, CAB has returned a total of €204m to the Exchequer – including €165 million in tax settlements, €33 million in proceeds of crime and €6 million in Social Welfare recoupments.
Over 360 Proceeds of Crime cases have been brought to the Courts, involving almost €170 million in assets.
Minister McEntee said the Community Safety Innovation Fund Scheme, launched earlier this year, will work to reinvest proceeds of crime seized by CAB back into the communities that need it.
She said she now aims to give the Bureau the power to publish the names and specified details of tax defaulters who have made settlements with it.
Meanwhile, Minister McEntee said it currently takes up to seven years for an asset to be confiscated after CAB determines that it is the proceeds of crime.
She is now aiming to reduce that timeframe substantially.
“That would send a message to those involved in organised criminality that they will not be allowed to enjoy the profits of their illegal activity, and it will show communities that we take organised crime extremely seriously,” she said.
The Annual Report notes that the Dublin West garda division, which includes areas such as Blanchardstown, Finglas and Clondalkin, had the highest number of people and organisations under investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau at the end of last year, at 293.
DMR South followed that at 188 with a record 1,770 targets in total. 27 were not residents in Ireland.
In Limerick, there were 147 cab targets - while Mayo was the county with the lowest at six.