London, Nov.12 : Leaders of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) have been told by their lawyers not to name the 39 convicted criminals because it would breach their right to a family and private life, and could amount to an "unfair" punishment.
According to The Telegraph, the advice relates to some of the country's most serious criminal gang masters who have had financial reporting orders imposed on them by the courts. The orders are a key new police power that require offenders to provide full details of their bank accounts on a monthly basis, and can last for up to 20 years after the criminal is released from jail.
They are intended to help police detect suspicious transactions and failure to comply carries a potential prison sentence.
SOCA, which was set up two years ago to tackle organised crime and is led by the former head of MI5 Sir Stephen Lander, wanted to publicise the names of convicts so that the public could inform the police if they suspected they were engaged in illicit activity which was not being declared.
However, lawyers advised that a precedent set by a 2003 test case involving Essex Police meant that the criminals could not be named.