Speaking on Today FM recently (18th July) economist, Brian Keenan expressed astonishment at the bizarre reaction of the Department of the Environment regarding a Sunday Tribune report that alleged planners were bribed by developers during the boom.
According to the Sunday Tribune the alleged scam worked as follows:
Before apartments went on sale, the planners would sign a contract allowing them to buy some at a discounted price. The following day the apartments would be sold on to unsuspecting buyers at the market price, with the planner pocketing the difference.
Sam Smyth described the practice, which is alleged to have been widespread, as the perfect crime.
Keenan described as bizarre the reaction of the Department of the Environment which said that while it was aware of the allegations it would require prima facie evidence to investigate.
Smyth made the comment that if that was the standard of evidence required then nobody would ever be caught for anything – Exactly Sam.
During the discussion Keenan expressed surprise, given the size of the boom, that the actual incidence of crime and theft has been surprisingly low.
There’s a very simple, but rarely acknowledged, reason for this phenomenon.
In a corrupt state it is in the interests of those with power and influence to cover up such crimes.
This strategy has been so successful in Ireland that the category ‘white collar crime’ is almost completely unknown.