GARDA Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said the investigations into possible fraud at the state-owned Anglo Irish Bank have led to a series of “complex investigations”.
The Commissioner was not in a position to say if the investigation would be complete within “the next six months”.
The advance of modern technology resulted in a huge amount of transactions being conducted electronically and that has added to the difficulties of completing the series of investigations “ongoing” at the bank, he said.
He warned that wrong-doers would be “prosecuted and punished” if found guilty of breaking the law.
He wished to “assure the public” this would happen at the earliest possible opportunity.
“I know that the assistant commissioner Derek Byrne and his team are working diligently to ensure the files will be with the DPP at the earliest possible time,” he said.
“What I want is to have it done and a file to be with the DPP at the earliest possible time,” he added.
“I can assure you and I can assure the general public” on that issue, he said.
Commissioner Murphy was speaking after the launch of Fraud Alert a joint publication between gardaí and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
It was first launched in 1999 and this is the second edition, put together to deal with a more complex set of circumstance, as fraudsters become more ingenious at depriving others of their money and possessions.
Recent PwC research shows that fraud and its associated cost is a growing issue in Irish business.
Apart from financial loss, there is also the real potential for reputational and other damage to business such as loss of commercially sensitive information and damage to staff morale and customer relationships, said Bob Semple, partner PwC, speaking at the launch.
He agreed that some actions by those in banks or businesses can be legal but “morally wrong”.
In terms of ferreting out the fraudsters or those with scant concern for what is acceptable behaviour companies have to lead from the top on this increasingly complex issue, said Mr Semple.
Ultimately, the most important role is in demonstrating an appropriate “tone” from the top.
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