Monday, February 14, 2011

Fine Gael will overhaul laws relating to “White Collar Crime”

Fine Gael Cllr Regina Doherty welcomed her Party’s commitment to urgently overhauling the laws relating to ‘white collar crime’ and to ensuring that all available expertise is brought to bear in securing the conviction of rogue bankers whose alleged actions have foisted a generation of debt on the back of taxpayers.“The Irish State has been brought to the edge of an economic cliff as a result of the catastrophic financial negligence and incompetence of Fianna Fáil. Their failures related not just to appalling fiscal mismanagement, but also to their gross negligence in failing to ensure the banking system was properly regulated. This failure to implement proper oversight of rogue bankers has had devastating financial consequences for taxpayers who now, unfairly, have had not just State debt but also the massive bank debt foisted on their shoulders.“It is over two years since the share dealings and financial transactions involving our financial institutions were revealed. Yet not one charge has been brought in our courts as a consequence of alleged improper financial transactions. There is understandable outrage and widespread concern that there is one law for the ordinary man and woman, and another for bankers who have to date escaped punishment for alleged crimes, the cost of which is even yet to be finalised.“Fine Gael is determined that any of those who broke the law will be brought before our courts. We are concerned at the length of time it is taking for the completion of the investigation underway by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.“We know that more than 100,000 documents, including bank records, have had to be analysed in the context of the ongoing investigation and in excess of more than 350 people have been interviewed. We are greatly concerned that there are only two civilian forensic accountants employed full time by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation. Fine Gael in government will ensure that the Gardaí are properly resourced to bring this important investigation to a conclusion.“If returned to government Fine Gael will, in its first year in office, streamline and update our laws relating to corporate and white collar crime to take account of all recent advances in data retention technology. We will enact provisions to ensure that An Garda Síochána has full access to all information relevant to such investigations, and necessary expertise to access, collate and analyse crucial information.

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