Criminal gangs convicted for so-called tiger kidnappings would be jailed for a minimum of 10 years under new legislation from Fianna Fáil, published by Party Whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl. The Criminal Justice (Aggravated False Imprisonment) Bill 2012 has been drafted by Deputy Ó Fearghaíl in response to the callous crimes which target the family members of people working in the financial sector.
“I am today publishing The Criminal Justice (Aggravated False Imprisonment) Bill 2012 to strengthen the law, protect families from Tiger Kidnappings and make it clear to the thugs behind such kidnappings that the State is serious about stopping them. Many families have been terrorised by gangs who must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The legislation sets out that, “aggravated false imprisonment” (commonly referred to as tiger kidnapping) means the false imprisonment of a person or persons for the purposes of coercing another (the victim) to commit or assist in, the commission of the offence of theft by holding the falsely imprisoned person or persons hostage as collateral until such time at the victim has met the demands of a criminal organisation.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said: “Many people who are working in sensitive financial positions and their families have been subjected to terrifying ordeals by crime gangs who have gone to extraordinary efforts to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Tiger kidnappings have caused great fear, even among people who themselves have not been specifically targeted but feel their work may increase the chances of their family being put at risk. My family has experienced this at first hand and I don’t want any other families to suffer the same ordeal.
“The financial services industry has taken significant steps to protect workers and offer support and assistance to employees’ families who have been affected and those in sensitive positions. However I believe our laws in this area can be much stronger. Under this legislation anyone convicted on indictment will face a minimum sentence of 10 years unless there are specific reasons not to do so in the judgement of the court.”
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said: “This bill amends the provisions of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 to provide for the creation of the statutory offence of Aggravated False Imprisonment.”