A prominent MEP has cautioned that Ireland's exclusion from the European Public Prosecutors Office leaves it open to organized crime.
Billy Kelleher has stated that because Ireland has not ratified the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) system, the Irish police (An Garda Siochana) and other state agencies should be on the lookout for European crime groups that might relocate their activities there.
Kelleher made his observations following remarks made by the Chief Prosecutor of the EPPO at this morning's joint meeting of the Justice and Budget committees of the European Parliament in Brussels.
"We hear through our wiretapping that criminals are contemplating moving their activities to some non-participating Member States because they are not part of the EPPO," the Chief Prosecutor claimed.
"Ireland and Denmark have opt outs from joining the EPPO while Hungary, Poland and Sweden have made the decision not to join."
Our law enforcement organizations ought to be concerned about this. The main reason Ireland is not a member of the EPPO is that our legal system is based on Common Law, whereas the vast majority of other Member States use Civil Law.
"While we aren’t members of the EPPO, we can and must do more to ensure no European crime gang sees Ireland as a soft touch when it comes to organised crime."
“The Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau need to be alert to this possibility. The Garda Commissioner must be ready to beef up resources and the Minister for Justice needs to direct as much cooperation as possible with the EPPO despite our differing legal systems and frameworks."
"Ireland must not be the weak link in the EU’s fight against organised crime," Kelleher said.
By fLEXI tEAM