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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 21 May 2022

Two Passport Office employees questioned in passport fraud investigation

The investigation began in May when irregularities were found in the issuance of two passports.

The Passport Office on Molesworth Streeti n Dublin
The Passport Office on Molesworth Streeti n Dublin
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

TWO EMPLOYEES OF the Passport Office in Dublin are being questioned by Gardaí as part of a criminal investigation into passport fraud, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed.

The investigation began in May when internal checks revealed irregularities in the way in which two passports were issued. The Department would not go into detail about the irregularities but said that it informed the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation upon discovering the issue.

A joint operation was launched into employees and services at the Passport Office on Molesworth Street in Dublin city centre. The Department confirmed that this operation is now a criminal investigation.

A 30-year-old man was arrested shortly after 7am on Tuesday morning in Skerries in north county Dublin and taken to Balbriggan Garda Station for questioning. The man was released today without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Separately, a 30-year-old woman was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and brought to Ballymun Garda Station in Dublin where she is still being questioned.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Passport Service took the issue of passport fraud “very seriously” and had strengthened measures to identify and prevent potential fraud in recent years.

The Department said customer services provided by the Passport Office will not be impacted.

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