Tough Garda crackdown will force white-collar criminals to cough up phone and laptop passwords
‘Corruption and ‘white-collar crime’ damages our economy, breeds cynicism in our society and is a threat to our international reputation’
White-collar criminals will have to give Gardaí their phone and laptop passwords under new laws being introduced by Justice Minister Helen McEntee today.
The new password-cracking powers will help tackle “economic crimes and corruption” and will be available through special new search warrants that Gardaí will be able to access.
They are part of a suite of new powers being introduced following the findings of the Hamilton Report.
Former DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) James Hamilton was given the job to find better ways to catch crafty white-collar criminals who have dodged the law up until now.
Ms McEntee is publishing her new plan today based on Mr Hamilton’s recommendations.
She said: “Corruption and ‘white-collar crime’ damages our economy, breeds cynicism in our society and is a threat to our international reputation.
“My plan for the implementation of the Hamilton Review recommendations will require collaboration across Government, with Cabinet colleagues and with State agencies and will be complemented by other anti-corruption initiatives such as the forthcoming report of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate on Countering the Threat of Internal Corruption.
“The State and its agencies must have all the powers available to clamp down and prevent white collar crime.
“Ireland has a hard won reputation as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment and as an international business hub, and stepping up our efforts to tackle white collar crime will show we are serious about maintaining and building upon that reputation.
“Businesses large and small must be confident that they can operate safely and securely, particularly as more and more economic activity goes online, a trend we have seen accelerate with Covid.
“But it is not just about businesses: consumers too should know they can safely pay their bills, shop and do so much more online.
“Perpetrators of such crimes can be sure we will spare no effort in preventing them committing such offences – and will bring them to justice if they do.”
The new plan also pledges to provide more training for investigators across the State’s crime fighting agencies.