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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020

Man arrested and fake passports seized in Dublin as part of European cyber fraud investigation

The arrest was made as part of a probe into a Europe-wide organised crime operation.

Equipment used in the suspected manufacture of fake passports
Equipment used in the suspected manufacture of fake passports
Image: Garda Press Office

A MAN HAS been arrested in Dublin after fake passports and equipment were seized by gardaí as part of a Europol investigation into cyber fraud and bogus online sales.

The seizures were made by gardaí from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau today, when three searches were carried out in the Dublin area.

During the searches, investigators discovered fake passports, details of fake bank accounts, as well as laptops, phones, prints, and laminators suspected of use in the manufacture of fake passports, along with an amount of cash.

Investigators believe the equipment was used by an organised crime group involved in cyber fraud, including bogus online sales and accommodation fraud, where people throughout the EU were duped into buying goods online but did not receive them.

GNECB planned operation3 Fake passports seized as part of an investigation into cyber fraud earlier today Source: Garda Press Office

Gardaí also believe the money used in the fraud was subsequently laundered through bank accounts set up in Ireland under fake names.

It is estimated that more than €1.5m has been laundered through these accounts in the past year.

A number of previous arrests have already been made in Finland and Ireland in relation to the investigation.

The man was arrested today under Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act and is being detained under provisions of the Criminal Justice Act at Coolock Garda Station.

Gardaí say their investigation is ongoing.

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