Ireland: New Garda powers under review to tackle white-collar crime
20 Apr 2021

Significant new powers are being considered for An Garda Síochána to tackle white collar and other economic crimes, including new search warrants for gaining access to the passwords and other login details of suspects’ computers and mobile phones.

The Government is also examining how new search warrants might be formulated to give the Garda and other investigators in the Republic access to data and evidence stored in cloud, or virtual, storage.

Under a new plan to be published on Monday by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, judges may also be trained to preside over complex trials involving white-collar crime, including corruption. Some judges may specialise in such cases and the Government is planning to liaise with the judicial council on the proposal as a first step.

The moves come as more and more organised crime has migrated online. There is also growing concern within the Garda that the force was being swamped by the workload related to economic crimes, especially those with an online dimension.

Under the plan, there are 22 Government actions for tackling economic crime, with timelines for each action over the next 18 months.

“White-collar crime undermines confidence in our economic system and damages our economy itself,” Ms McEntee said. “Those who commit such crimes will be caught and punished, and this implementation plan will give the State the tools to vigorously pursue those criminals.”

The plan, which covers multiple investigative State agencies and Government departments, aims to implement the recommendations made last year by former Director of Public Prosecutions James Hamilton. He carried out a review into how the Garda and other agencies investigated economic crime and corruption, including in politics and big business, and found the Republic lagged behind other jurisdictions.

By Conor Lally, The Irish Times, 19 April 2021

Read more at The Irish Times

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