Garda cites obstacles in investigating fraud


THE Dail Select Committee on Enterprise and Economic Strategy was told of the difficulties faced by the Garda authorities in investigating instances of fraud.

Speaking in a private session yesterday, a representative of the Garda Fraud Squad is understood to have highlighted a series of, obstacles which has hampered its investigation into missing funds following the collapse of the Taylor group.

The Garda authorities were unable to take any active part in investigating the collapse for up to six weeks, the committee was told, because it had not received any formal complaints from clients whose funds were missing. The Garda also set out other instances in which the force found itself powerless to act on fraud.

The committee is due to present a report into the Taylor affair within two weeks, addressing the legislative changes required to effectively supervise investment intermediaries, better education and protection for consumers and possible amendments to legislation covering fraud.

Yesterday it also agreed to meet an industry working party from the intermediary sector before finalising its report. That working party has previously recommended that the authorities should focus on supervising the intermediaries; themselves rather than introducing separate regulatory bodies to oversee their various activities. It has warned that such an approach would force many small players out of business.