An agency set up to seize criminals' assets has cost taxpayers around Â£60m despite only recovering just over Â£8m from law breakers since 2003. The Asset Recovery Agency was set up to tackle organised crime. It was meant to raise enough cash to cover its budget. When the ARA was launched with the power to seize criminals cars and cash Tony Blair said the agency was going to hit big time crooks hard - "where it most hurts in their pockets". In 2004 the agency recovered vehicles worth just Â£5,000 - that was despite a 50% increase in its staff. The agency admits there are problems but argues cases are taking longer because they are working with new laws.