Plans could see immunity for whistleblowers of white collar crime

The measures could also include a new garda unit created

Plans could see immunity for whistleblowers of white collar crime

Faded signage on a closed bank in London | Image: Matt Crossick/PA Archive/PA Images

New laws to grant immunity to whistleblowers could form part of package to fight white collar crime.

The move is being proposed under new Government plans to tackle major corporate criminality.

The measures could include a new garda unit to investigate corporate crimes and changes to the way evidence is brought to court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could also create a specialist fraud unit under the plans.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has tasked some of his Cabinet ministers to come up with a set of proposals by September.

Philip Ryan is the political correspondent with the Sunday Independent.

He says the immunity system has worked in other countries.

"If someone comes forward and blows the whistle on a major financial fraud in a business where they work in, they could be involved in it and have knowledge of it.

"But if they act as a supergrass - in this instance they could come forward, give the details of it and be granted immunity from any prosecution for helping the State convict those involved.

"There would be a lot of detail around who would be allowed apply for this - and the other aspect of it is that there would only be one person who would have to be the first person who comes forward".

"The specialist unit would be going after financial and corporate fraud, cyber crimes, financial irregularities - they typical white collar crime, which can be very costly.

"And there's an impression amongst some sections of the public - or the public at large, really - that in a lot of instance people seem to be getting off and there doesn't seem to be great garda resources put towards some of these investigations".