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Two Passport office employees arrested in new fraud investigation

This is the second fraud investigation in less than a year at the Passport office.

TWO PASSPORT OFFICE employees have been arrested in a new fraud investigation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed this evening.

The DFAT confirmed that a joint Passport Service and Garda investigation has been taking place at the Passport Offices in both Molesworth Street and Balbriggan in Dublin.

They said that two employees of the Passport Service have been arrested and are assisting An Garda Síochána with their inquiries.

Gardaí said today that they arrested a woman in her 30s and a man in his 30s, both employees at the Passport Office on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. Both were arrested for an offence under Section 20(1)(a) of the Passport Act, 2008.

The Passport Service said it had launched an investigation in Autumn 2013 when internal checks revealed irregularities in the processing of three passports.

The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation was informed and a joint investigation was launched into the discovery.

The Passport Service said it:

takes the issue of passport fraud very seriously and has strengthened measures to identify and prevent potential fraud. Customer services provided by the Passport Service will not be impacted.

The woman who was arrested today was taken to Pearse Street Garda Station, where she was detained under Section 4, Criminal Justice Act, 1984 but has been released this evening and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The man remains in custody in Pearse Street Garda Station detained under Section 4, Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

These arrests are part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Investigation Section of NBCI into fraudulently obtained Irish passports.

These latest arrests are separate from, and unrelated to, the investigation into fraud in the Passport Service which was made public in July 2013.

The Garda investigation in that specific case is continuing and files are being prepared for the DPP, the Passport Office said.

The two people who are being investigated as part of that particular ongoing inquiry are no longer employees of the Passport Service.

Read: Second Passport Office employee released without charge>

Read: Two Passport Office employees questioned in passport fraud investigation>

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