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Screengrab from the KWETB website. KWETB

Several white-collar professionals are suspects in schools corruption probe

One man was arrested at the start of this month.

FRAUD GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING irregularities at the Kildare and Wicklow Education Training Board (KWETB) suspect a group of people was involved in alleged corruption at the statutory body. 

Yesterday, gardaí arrested a woman in relation to corruption offences at KWETB, which is a statutory body that has responsibility for education and training, youth work and a range of other statutory functions.

This is the second arrest in relation to the probe after a man was arrested last month. 

The garda probe relates to allegations of widespread misappropriation of funds, including alleged overspends in certain areas of construction.  

The man arrested last month was not a direct employee of the KWETB. 

His was the first arrest in an investigation that has been ongoing for nearly two years. A file has been sent to the DPP to determine if criminal charges will be brought. 

The investigation is now gathering pace, according to sources familiar with the probe. There are a number of other people of interest in the investigation. 

More arrests are expected in the near future, another source added.

In February of last year, officers raided the KWETB campus where they seized documents as well as electronic devices, which sources have described as “key” to the garda investigation. 

The raids happened following the publication of an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the financial statements of KWETB for the year-end 2015.

This report found serious irregularities at the board. 

The audit published by the State’s spending watchdog “identified concerns about procurement, project cost overruns and propriety matters”. 

It also found “expenditure by KWETB in 2015 at a five-star hotel and golf resort appears excessive, with no evidence of any attempts to achieve value for money for the service procured”.

Gardaí confirmed that a man arrested in relation to the probe has been released without charge and a file is being sent to the DPP.

The woman arrested yesterday is currently being questioned at Naas Garda Station where she can be held for up to 24 hours.

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