Further arrests are due over ‘sham marriages’ in Limerick

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Chief Superintendent Sheahan: 'Further arrests expected'
A “SIGNIFICANT amount of documentation” was seized by gardai in Limerick city this Wednesday in relation to the first major nationwide investigation into alleged sham marriages.

A “SIGNIFICANT amount of documentation” was seized by gardai in Limerick city this Wednesday in relation to the first major nationwide investigation into alleged sham marriages.

Two premises in Limerick were raided under Operation Vantage, with the arrest of one person in the city in relation to alleged fraud offences.

By noon this Wednesday a total of 11 people were arrested across the country for a variety of offences under the Immigration Act and Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act. They are being held at Henry Street station in Limerick, Ballyhaunis and Finglas Garda station.

Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan, head of the Limerick garda division, said that a “significant amount of documentation was recovered in Limerick, which will have to be analysed”.

He said while this operation was mainly led by Dublin headquarters, he would expect further arrests in the city.

The male, whose nationality has not yet been identified, remains in Henry Street station, as a result of operations, which the Chief Supt described as “the first of their kind in the country”.

In addition, a large amount of computers, memory devices, phones and documents including false identity documents, driving licences and marriage certificates have been seized nationwide. A stun gun and quantities of cash, amounting to some €30,000, have also been seized during the course of the searches.

Operation Vantage was set up this August by the Garda National Immigration Bureau to investigate illegal immigration and identify marriages of convenience.

A large number of searches were conducted across the country by over 200 Garda members, including the Criminal Assets Bureau and Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, and local units.