A major corruption investigation is under way after a garda allegedly took bribes to give ‘several hundred’ foreign nationals permission to stay in Ireland illegally.
Up to 800 men and women from Pakistan and India paid €10,000 each to have the garda stamp a form stating they had shown the necessary documents granting them the right to work here and claim benefits, it is alleged.
Officers believe the garda was in league with a Pakistani ‘fixer’ in the high-level immigration fraud.
Fears ‘immigration scam’ allowed criminals into Ireland after garda ‘took bribes to stamp fake visa papers’. Pic: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
The Pakistani man organised busloads of his fellow countrymen to travel to the garda’s station, where the officer would stamp the documents, it is alleged.
There are now deep concerns within An Garda Síochána that the scam allowed criminal elements arrive here and ‘disappear’.
The men and women involved had entered Ireland legally on student visas, and when those expired they should not have been permitted to remain. Detectives say that the ‘fixer’ and the garda split the €10,000 payments between them.
There are deep concerns within the gardai that the scam allowed criminal elements arrive here and ‘disappear’. Pic: RollingNews.ie
This high-level immigration scam allegedly went on for more than six years and detectives have established that as many as 1,000 men and women were granted work permits to remain in Ireland and claim benefits.
Sources also say that there are some ‘serious concerns’ about the background of some of the men and women granted permission to stay.
It is understood that the gardai have been trying to track down all the people who were granted status to remain here, but many have ‘disappeared’.
One source said there were ‘valid concerns’ that criminal elements had exploited the system and their whereabouts is now unknown.
Extra.ie can reveal that a major criminal investigation into the scam is now almost complete and developments are due imminently.
The investigation is being led by local detectives, and the Garda National Immigration Bureau is also involved in the extensive probe.
Extra.ie understands that the garda concerned was taken in for questioning when concerns arose about the high number of Pakistani and Indian nationals being granted work permits by the rank-and-file officer.
The garda ‘made some admissions’ when being quizzed by colleagues almost two years ago, Extra.ie understands. However, the officer has not been arrested.
Gardai have been ‘painstakingly’ investigating the complex case since, and have been ‘shocked’ by the scale of the alleged crime.
Gardai have been ‘painstakingly’ investigating the complex case since, and have been ‘shocked’ by the scale of the alleged crime. Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins
A Garda spokesman declined to comment on the investigation when contacted by this newspaper.
A spokesman said: ‘An Garda Síochána does not comment on ongoing investigations.’
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