Belfast Telegraph

Fraud gardai 'need more resources'

Garda fraud detectives are being hampered in complex financial investigations because of a lack of resources, middle-ranking officers have claimed.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) conference is set to debate the need for more manpower, technology and training to tackle white-collar crime.

Sergeant Mary Finnegan said investigations into Anglo Irish Bank and the Moriarty Tribunal findings are being "protracted" because specialist units are not adequately equipped.

"I don't think there's half enough resources," she said.

The officer from the Sligo/Leitrim division, a delegate at the annual conference, said Ireland remains a "two-tier society" because not enough focus is put on financial fraud.

Sgt Finnegan said the force's track record at the top end of fraudulent crime was "non-existent".

She said gardai were sent in only on "mopping-up" exercises, which resulted in a lack of white-collar prosecutions.

Sgt Finnegan called for a roll-out of fraud training classes at regional level to deal with what she said would be a huge growth area into the future.

Joe Dirwan, general secretary of Agsi, said white-collar crime was not just confined to Dublin and specialised skills were needed across the country.

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