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Man arrested over suspected involvement with people smuggling operation

A search was carried out in Monaghan yesterday.

Image: Shutterstock/chrisdorney

A MAN IN his 40s has been arrested as part of an investigation targeting an organised crime group suspected of facilitating the smuggling of illegal immigrants.

The arrest comes after a search was carried out in the Monaghan area yesterday. Officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau seized documentation and electronic devices during the operation.

The arrested man is being held at Ballymun Garda Station. The search was carried out as part of Operation Mombasa – a multi-jurisdictional investigation that commenced in late 2018 centred on an organised crime group of non-nationals (primarily Georgian) who are known to be resident in Ireland.

The crime group is suspected of facilitating the smuggling of illegal immigrants, supplying false identity documents and money laundering.

The head of the Garda National Immigration Bureau, Detective Chief Superintendent Seamus Boland said: “An Garda Síochána is committed to targeting organised crime groups that are suspected to prey on the most vulnerable in our society for financial gain.

“We will continue to work closely with our international partners, including Europol, to ensure that coordinated investigations extend beyond our borders and dismantle these organised crime groups.”

Operation Mombasa was established as a result of Icelandic and Spanish authorities intercepting Georgian nationals within their jurisdiction committing criminal offences. Inquiries conducted ascertained that some of these Georgian nationals had sourced false documents from Ireland.

Subsequent inquiries, and the interception and seizure by An Garda Síochána of suspected parcels from An Post, established that packages had been addressed to non-European nationals in various EU member states.

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As part of this investigation, searches were conducted and a number of people were arrested in 2019 and 2018.

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Ceimin Burke

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