The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was established as a body corporate with perpetual succession in 1996 and is founded on the multi-agency concept, drawing together law enforcement officers, tax officials, social welfare officials as well as other specialist officers including legal officers, forensic analysts and financial analysts. This multi-agency concept is regarded by some as the model for other European jurisdictions.

The CAB is not a division of the Garda Síochána (police) but rather an independent body corporate although it has many of the powers normally given to the Gardaí. The Chief Bureau Officer is drawn from a member of the Garda Síochána holding the rank of Chief Superintendent and is appointed by the Garda Commissioner. The remaining staff of the CAB are appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality. CAB members retain their original powers and possibilities as if they were working within their separate entities and have direct access to information and databases that their original organizations are allowed by law. This ability to share information was described by the Garda Síochána Inspectorate in its Crime Investigation Report of October 2014 as "a good model that could be replicated outside of CAB".

The CAB reports annually to the Minister for Justice and Equality through the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and this report is laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Minister for Justice and Equality, in publishing the 2016 CAB Annual Report, stated: "I am pleased to present the twenty-first Annual Report of the Criminal Assets Bureau and would like to thank and acknowledge Chief Bureau Officer Pat Clavin and his staff for their dedicated work in targeting the proceeds of crime generated from a range of criminal activities. The Report highlights the activities undertaken by the Bureau during the year. During 2016, the Bureau returned in excess of €3.8m to the Exchequer, including over €1.4m returned under Proceeds of Crime legislation, €2.1m collected under Revenue legislation and €0.297m recovered in Social Welfare overpayments. In addition, the Bureau brought 13 new proceeds of crime proceedings before the High Court. Furthermore, taxes and interest demanded during the year was valued at €5.023m and social welfare savings amounted to €269,981. The Report also highlights the work of the Bureau in contributing to the international response to targeting the proceeds of crime, as well as the ongoing capacity building efforts of the Bureau through the extension of the Assets Profiler Training Programme and the conclusion of the Asset Confiscation and Tracing Investigators Course in conjunction with the Garda College.”

The Minister continued said “I also want to acknowledge the significant profile the Bureau maintains at international level with law enforcement agencies and I note in the Chief Bureau Officer’s forwarding report that this cooperation has increased to the point where virtually every investigation currently underway has some international aspect to it. We have seen with the enactment of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2016 that the reach of the Bureau has extended in response to the increased organised crime threat. This Government is committed to fully supporting its work.”

A full copy of the CAB Annual Report 2018 is available HERE