A NUMBER of people have been arrested over the past two weeks as part of an operation by Gardaí attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau in relation to immigrant workers offences.
Gardaí and the GNIB conducted two seperate large-scale operations in partnership with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Department of Social Protection between the 30th of January and the 11th of February this year.
The operation included a search operation of a warehouse and offices of an Asian food products supplier in a West Dublin business park, which had been suspected of employing "persons in contravention of the Immigration and Employment Permits Legislation" as well as employing people who had been ordered to be deported.
A total of six people were arrested during the search: three because they had previously been ordered to be deported, and three more for having no legal status to be in Ireland.
Those arrested appeared before Blanchardstown District Court on Friday 31st January 2020, where they were remanded until 13th March 2020.
A Garda statement reports that, during the same search, "the Department of Social Protection officers suspended a number of payments, including Disability Allowance, Rent Supplement and Child Benefit" resulting in "an estimated potential savings of €100,000 to the State".
A second search operation took place in a meat processing company in County Meath, which was found to be employing people "in contravention of the Immigration and Employment Permits Legislation".
Gardaí report that a total of 19 people were found to be in violation of immigration of permit legislation. Four people were arrested and charged under immigration legislation, and are currently out on bail before their court appearances on 19 February and 27 February respectively.
One person discovered during the County Meath operation claimed asylum, and 11 others are due to be deported.
Three other non-EU nationals were interviewed by Gardaí and the Work Relations Comission in relation to "possible discrepancies in relation to work permits". This investigation is ongoing.