Assets seized from criminals, including Rolex watches and gold bars, set for auction  

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The auction, which includes 46 designer watches, opens at 1pm and closes on Monday afternoon. Bids will be accepted throughout the weekend. Lots will begin to close from 1pm on Monday. Bids for Lot 1 — a diamond set, gold and stainless steel Rolex Datejust 41 — will close at 1pm on Monday. Bidding on every subsequent lot will close one minute later, with Lot 2 — a one-ounce gold bar — closing at 1.01pm and Lot 3 — a Louis Vuitton handbag — closing at 1.02pm. Diamond rings, Cartier watches, a diamond bracelet, and a diamond necklace are also up for auction. Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gubbins, the chief officer of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), said that gardaí estimate the goods for auction have a retail value of some €500,000. There were more than 350,000 hits on the auction webpage by 10am on Friday with global interest from as far away as New Zealand, the USA, all across Europe, and from Ireland, Det Chief Supt Gubbins said. CAB also sold 12 properties and 30 high-value vehicles in the last two months, he said. He encouraged people to make anonymous Good Citizen reports to CAB on people they believe may have benefitted financially from the proceeds of crime. “The Bureau targets criminals and criminal organisations of all shapes and sizes within communities regardless of their location. These targets continue to flaunt their criminally acquired wealth through the purchase of items like those that are in today’s auction,” Det Chief Supt Gubbins said. “The Bureau currently has 1,475 targets, 23 of which reside outside the state. Approximately half of the targets on our books reside within the Dublin Metropolitan Region and the remainder reside throughout the State. “It’s worth noting that during the Bureau’s infancy, the types of assets seized were cash, money in bank accounts, jewellery, and property. “Today, however, the Bureau’s targets continue to flaunt their criminal-acquired wealth through the purchase of luxury designer goods, such as handbags, clothing, watches, and jewellery. They also live a lavish lifestyle that goes beyond their legitimate means. “2015 saw the first seizure by the Bureau of Cryptocurrency. At the time, this was one of the first such seizures in Europe. The Bureau continues to develop its expertise and capabilities in this area.” The auction is being facilitated by Wilsons Auctions. All items are fully authenticated and the net proceeds of the auction will be returned to the Exchequer. Last year, CAB denied and deprived criminals of ill-gotten gains to the sum of €6.359m, according to the 2022 CAB annual report. In 2022, CAB also returned in excess of €21,000 to an injured party. CAB conducted 49 search operations in 2022 consisting of 134 individual searches in 20 counties. It obtained High Court orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 in respect of assets in 20 searches. CAB is a State agency that confiscates the proceeds of crime. It was founded in 1996 following the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin who had been following the money trail of Irish organised crime and following the murder of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.

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