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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 27 May, 2019
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Ireland is cracking down on white collar crime

And making it easier to blow the whistle.

Image: Shutterstock/bestv

A NEW PROGRAMME that will help fight white collar crime is being launched today.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, in conjunction with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has released details of a strengthened Cartel Immunity Programme.

The CCPC says that the operation of illegal cartels represents “serious white collar crime”.

The programme will mean that a member of a cartel may avoid prosecution if they come forward and reveal their involvement in illegal cartel activity before the CCPC has completed an investigation and referred the matter to the DPP.

With the new programme there will also be enhanced legal certainty for those applying for immunity from prosecution.

The new programme removes a previous bar on an instigator company qualifying for immunity. However, given the nature of the offence, it maintains a ban on immunity for a company that coerced others to join or remain in the cartel.

Isolde Goggin, chair of the CCPC said that breaking up cartels was better for legitimate businesses and the public.

“Cartels result in increased prices, lower quality products and narrower choice for consumers. They represent the most serious form of anti-competitive behaviour. The detection, investigation and prosecution of cartels is one of the highest priorities for the Commission.

“Cartels are by their nature secretive and therefore difficult to detect. The Cartel Immunity Programme is a vital tool in uncovering cartels that are operating in the State. The new Cartel Immunity Programme is designed to produce more effective investigations and successful outcomes.”

Read: ‘It has never been easier to get away with white collar crime in Ireland’

Read: ‘A powerful watchdog with real teeth’: Ireland to get a new consumer body

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